Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement

IQSA Group Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement

This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes our anti-slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending 30 September 2020. As set out in our Modern Slavery Policy and Code of Ethics, we are fundamentally opposed to the abuse of human rights and will not tolerate or condone this within any part of our business or supply chain. We have zero tolerance to slavery and human trafficking and we expect those in our supply chain to comply with our values. As an organisation that has people and service at the heart of its business model, the preservation of human rights is key to how we do business.

Introduction

iQ Student Accommodation is one of the largest providers of student accommodation in the UK. It has 28,000 beds under management in 67 locations across the UK.

The Group has an annual turnover in excess of £220m and, in addition to letting to students directly, works in conjunction with some of the UK’s leading universities for the provision of accommodation directly to their students under a process of nomination or lease. The Group also owns a hotel.

Policies and Contractual Controls

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.

The policy is supported by an e-learning training module which provides staff with information about Modern Slavery and how to spot the signs as well as providing advice on what they should do if they have concerns.

Assessment of Risk in the Supply Chain.

Our Procurement Department has identified the following categories of supplier where we believe there is a greater risk of modern slavery. These types of business tend to pay lower wages and rely on labour from outside the country to undertake their business.

  • Cleaning
  • Security
  • Sub-contractors for construction activities
  • Grounds Maintenance services
  • Overseas companies supplying outsourced business processing services

Steps the Group has taken to prevent Modern Slavery in our supply chain

The Group has reviewed its supplier onboarding procedures and included questions about Modern Slavery as part of the suite of checks undertaken for new suppliers. Our terms of trading include clauses concerning supplier conduct in this area and all new major contracts include clauses around the prevention of modern slavery.

The Group has reviewed its approach to summer cleaning and has consolidated our contracts with a small number of highly reputable organisations. Our security contracts were tendered in 2017 and as part of this process clauses were included concerning pay levels for staff employed on iQ premises.

A detailed review of its principal overseas outsourced contract has been undertaken by the Group and we are satisfied that our supplier meets the required standards.

Further steps to prevent Modern Slavery in our supply chain

During the next 12 months the Group will continue to focus its attention on its historic supplier base and will conduct spot checks on suppliers in those category areas considered to be greater risk.

It is the intention that our procurement department will produce a short guide to iQ’s approach to Modern Slavery which will be given to all new suppliers. The Group will be retendering its grounds maintenance contracts in the next financial year.

The Group’s newly established Internal Audit function will consider the risks associated with Modern Slavery as part its reviews where appropriate.

Further Information

Further information concerning the Group’s approach to Modern Slavery can be obtained by contacting our Compliance Director - [email protected].

 

Rob Roger

Chief Executive Officer