This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes our group's slavery and human trafficking statement for financial year end December 2022 and has been approved by the UK Senior Management Team and our Managing Director Bernard Ward.
The Acorn (Synergie UK Ltd) part of the French based Synergie group, recognises that modern slavery and human trafficking is a violation of fundamental human rights and is contrary to the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the “Act”). We are committed to continually improving our practices to combat slavery and human trafficking and to encourage the same high standards from our supply chain and other business partners.
The Acorn Group is a labour provider of staffing and recruitment services to a wide range of clients covering a broad range of industry sectors. We have over 25 locations across the UK. The Group had an annual turnover in 2022 of Circa £95m and our registered office is in Newport South Wales. The labour force provided to our clients all live and work in the UK, we do not use overseas agents to source workers.
We have produced a slavery and trafficking risk assessment indicating our Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers. Tier 1 suppliers are other UK labour providers including umbrella companies which we have identified as high risk to our business, Tier 2 providers are essential service providers and suppliers of product required to run our business. We purchase a wide range of products and services from our supply chain, including but not limited to IT hardware, software and telecommunications; vehicles; office furniture, equipment and supplies; utilities; travel services; and training services.
Our approved suppliers must comply and act in accordance with our Modern Slavery Policy and must submit a pre-qualification document, which also covers the Act and provides us with all necessary due diligence.
To mitigate and manage our risk the following activities have been undertaken in 2022:
• Our Modern Slavery policy and risk assessment has been reviewed, issued, andbremains fit for purpose.
• All new employees have attended modern slavery training.
• Our SMT has attended Modern Slavery training with Stronger Together
• All employees are aware of our whistle blowing helpline and have been made aware on how they can report any concerns they may have associated with Modern Slavery.
• Supply chain partners outlined above have completed our supplier questionnaire.
• Our divisions received two compliance audits during 2022 which pre-employment checks, including eligibility to work, work history, references and qualifications were reviewed.
• All staff working for the group have adequate references and have undertaken an annual self-declaration outlining criminal convictions and undertake a ‘fit and proper’ test in line with GLAA requirements.
• As part of our due diligence, we perform weekly checks to identify where workers may be sharing bank accounts (not joint), addresses or telephone numbers as this can be an indication of Modern Slavery. Any shared details are verified with the individuals to ensure this is a voluntary arrangement and must be approved by Compliance team.
• We have a dedicated confidential telephone number for workers to report concerns of exploitation/human trafficking. Synergie Group have a confidential Integrity whistleblowing platform where internal concerns can be reported anonymously.
• ISO9001 accreditation was maintained – independent audit ensuring compliance to our internal policies against the international standard for quality.
• We have attended several partner meetings on Modern Slavery.
• No breaches of Modern Slavery were reported during the financial year.
Acorn (Synergie UK Ltd)
18 Apr 2023