The Modern Slavery Act (2015) introduced new rules regarding transparency in supply chains. The Act seeks to address the role of businesses in protecting human rights and preventing modern slavery from occurring in their supply chain.
This statement sets out the steps taken by iQSA Group during the year to 31st December 2016 to prevent modern slavery and human trafficking in its business and supply chains. and also details additional measures to be undertaken by the Group during 2017.
iQ Student Accommodation is the second largest provider of student accommodation in the UK. It has 23,500 bed spaces under management in 54 locations across the UK with a further 380 beds scheduled to open in September 2017.
The Group was formed in February 2016 by the merger of the iQ Student Accommodation and Prodigy Living businesses, initially as Vero Group but from 1st January 2017, as iQ Student Accommodation.
The Group’s Modern Slavery Policy was introduced in March 2017 and supports our Code of Ethics where we confirm we will not tolerate or condone abuse of human rights within any part of our business or supply chain. The Group has a confidential helpline in support of its Whistleblowing policy where members of staff can raise concerns over any wrongdoing which extends to human rights violations and modern slavery. Reports are treated in confidence and are always fully investigated at executive level.
Our Procurement Department has reviewed our supply chains and has identified five specific areas where we consider there may be a greater risk of modern slavery. In 2017 specific due diligence activity will be focussed on suppliers in these potentially higher risk areas:
The Group’s Learning and Development Department will be looking to develop an e-learning module incorporating training on Modern Slavery, how to spot it and how to raise it as an issue.
During 2017 we will be looking to incorporate the Code of Conduct into our supplier on-boarding procedures. Initially this will cover only new suppliers but it will later be rolled back to our existing supply chain which will ensure that we only contract with like-minded businesses who share the same ethos as iQ Student in respect of Modern Slavery.
During the next 12 months, all suppliers identified as being at greater risk of Modern Slavery will be contacted. We will look to work with them to ensure compliance with the Act as well as guiding and advising them on how to spot and eradicate Modern Slavery from their own supply chains.
We will also undertake spot checks on suppliers, particularly those in category areas considered to be greater risk. These checks will examine the following:
Chief Executive Officer
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