Modern Slavery Statement Financial Year 2018
This statement is written in accordance with s.54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 for the financial year - January 2018 to December 2018. This statement sets out the steps that Sofology Ltd has taken, and is continuing to take, to ensure that modern slavery or human trafficking is not taking place in any area of our operation or supply chain.
Modern slavery encompasses; slavery, servitude, human trafficking and forced labour. Sofology Ltd has a zero-tolerance approach to any form of modern slavery and as such, as outlined in this statement, will take all appropriate actions to assist in the abolition of modern slavery and are committed to acting ethically, with integrity and transparency in all business dealings by putting effective systems and controls in place to safeguard against any form of modern slavery taking place within its operation or supply chain.
Sofology Ltd, is a UK furniture retailer, we sell, deliver and install high quality sofas and occasional items through online, telephony and in-store means. Our sofas are handmade to order by our suppliers.
We generally have close, stable and longstanding relationships with our supply chains and senior experts of the Buying and Merchandising teams visit the suppliers on a regular basis. Our occasional products are sourced from trusted wholesalers and the distribution of our products is mainly in-house managed and operated.
We operate a Supplier Policy and maintain a preferred supplier list. We conduct due diligence on all suppliers before allowing them to become a preferred supplier. Our Anti-Slavery Policy forms part of our contract with all suppliers and they are required to confirm that no part of their business operations contradicts this policy. We reserve the right to terminate such contracts at any time should any instances of modern slavery come to light.
We directly employ approximately 314 drivers, installation technicians and warehouse operatives who work in our own UK based depots. We work with 13 upholstery manufactures and for those based in the Far East our shipping is outsourced to Advanced Supply Chain Ltd. We have long standing relationships with both our manufacturers and shipping providers and work closely with all parties to ensure compliance with out Anti Slavery policy.
At busy periods or when logistically necessary, we use respected, locally sourced contracted delivery teams and warehouse operatives. We monitor their performance alongside our own employees using a variety of measures such as NPS customer satisfaction.
Sofology Ltd strive to act with integrity and transparency at all times and we operate a number of internal policies to assist in safeguarding against human rights infringements including: Anti-slavery policy, Recruitment policy, Whistleblowing policy, Code of business conduct, Health and Safety policy, Harassment and Bullying Policy, Equal Opportunities Policy and Disciplinary Policy.
Our Whistleblowing policy, as mentioned above, encourages employees to report any unethical practices either internal or external to the business including suppliers. All reports are taken extremely seriously and are fully investigated.
Risk Assessment and Due Diligence
The Board of Directors have overall responsibility for corporate governance, including any anti-slavery initiatives. We acknowledge there is a risk of exposure to modern slavery in our supply chain. As part of our commitment to mitigating any risks we have increased our focus within the business by:
- Writing to all our established and new suppliers to remind them of our commitment to the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and that we will not tolerate any breaches of the act by our supply chain.
- Continuing to audit our supply chain with specific emphasis and regular visits, both announced and unannounced.
- We are committed to establishing a Code of Conduct which we expect all suppliers to sign up to that recognises our standards and is audited regularly.
- Increasing standards of reporting both internally and externally by suppliers to encourage collaboration in following the guidelines of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
- An Employee Learning Module for employees who deal with our supply chain will be launched in August 2018 to ensure they undertake mandatory training that will outline the risks of Modern Slavery.
Assessment of Effectiveness:
Along with our own employees, all manufacturing suppliers are measured by Net Promoter Score. This management tool demands that high standards are met in order to reach maximum customer satisfaction which is a tool to measure the effectiveness of our approach to eradicate human rights infringements within our operation. Along with receiving no reports from employees, the public or law enforcement agencies to indicate that modern slavery practices have been identified.
Sofology Ltd recognises that the commitment to a zero tolerance policy to human rights abuse is a continual journey and we will continue to assess the effectiveness of our programme through internal and external audits.