Modern slavery and human trafficking statement
This statement is provided on behalf of Age UK and its subsidiary companies and charities, which includes The Silver Line Helpline, and is made pursuant to section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (‘the Act’). It constitutes Age UK’s statement for the financial year ended 31 March 2021.
Age UK considers modern slavery and human trafficking extremely serious crimes, grave violations of human rights and contrary to the ethical standards and values we hold dear. As a charity that, as part of its wider objectives, fights for the protection and advancement of human rights in the UK, and around the world through our subsidiary charity, Age International, we have a zero-tolerance approach to such abuses. We are committed to preventing modern slavery in our organisation and ensuring that our supply chain is as equally free of both modern slavery and human trafficking (within the reasonable bounds of our influence and control to ensure compliance with the Act by our supply chain and / or assure ourselves of their compliance).
Age UK is a charity registered in England which exists to promote the wellbeing of older people. Age UK comprises of Age UK and its subsidiary charities and companies.
- Age UK’s subsidiary charity, Age International, funds programmes in over 40 developing countries; the subsidiary The Silver Line, provides a free confidential helpline providing information, friendship and advice to older people across the UK; and the subsidiaries Age Cymru and The Silver Line worked specifically in providing support to older people in particular geographical locations.
- Age UK’s trading subsidiaries, Age UK Trading CIC (Community Interest Company), AgeCo Limited and Social Lottery CICs, generate income to fund the charity’s work. Age UK Trading CIC also provides central support services and infrastructure.
Age UK and its subsidiaries employ around 1,400 staff, and benefits from the support of 5,000 volunteers in our 250 plus charity shops, all based in the UK.
The vast majority of our staff are employed directly by Age UK and our subsidiaries and are not of an employment status generally considered to be vulnerable to modern slavery in this country. We are not complacent and have robust policies and procedures in place. Our focus, however, is on ensuring that our supply chain complies with the Act, relevant Age UK policies and procedures, and our ethical standards.
Our supply chain
Age UK is committed to improving our practices to identify and eliminate modern slavery and human trafficking in our supply chains, and to act ethically and with integrity in all our business relationships. Our supply chains comprise of over 2,000 suppliers and contractors. Age UK and our subsidiaries use the products and services we purchase from these suppliers to:
- Support our charitable activity and operations
- Provide products for resale in our charity shops
- Offer financial, insurance and legal services for sale to the public by third parties
Age UK works with the Age UK network of over 130 independent charities to deliver charitable services in the UK. Age International works internationally through a network of partners and agencies, largely as the UK member the of HelpAge International global network.
Age UK endeavours to raise awareness among all employees of the identification, prevention and eradication of modern slavery and human trafficking, and has policies and procedures in place to ensure that they can do so. The Age UK Procurement function operates across Age UK’s subsidiaries, and has oversight of our supply chain. The relevant policies are:
- Age UK’s Procurement Policy and Procedure requires that suppliers are formally approved by Age UK’s Procurement such that they can only provide goods and services after confirming compliance with all applicable regulations and legislation, including the Act.
- Age UK’s Speak-up Safely (whistleblowing) Policy and Procedure asks staff to confidentially report concerns including modern slavery or human trafficking.
- Age UK’s Safeguarding Policy and Procedures acknowledges modern slavery as a form of abuse and, where there is a concern about a child (under 18 years) or an adult (18 or over) who needs care and support, this Policy takes effect.
Supply Chain Due Diligence
Age UK aims to work with only those suppliers that demonstrate high levels of commitment to monitoring and reducing the risk of modern slavery and human trafficking taking place within their organisations or supply chains. As a pre-condition to supplying Age UK, suppliers must confirm their compliance with the Act. If a supplier fails to provide the information requested or meet Age UK’s expectations, Age UK will take appropriate action, which may include not entering into a relationship or terminating the relationship.
Progress in 2020/2021
In the 2020/21 financial year Age UK has taken steps to provide additional assurance of our supply chain’s compliance with the Act:
- Age UK continued to monitor all new suppliers prior to engaging with them to confirm compliance with the Act.
- Age UK further developed its contract database to enable a review of existing suppliers.
- Age UK have been working with an outsourced procurement partner to improve its control over its supplier base and compliance with the Act.
Plans for 2021/22
In the 2020/21 financial year Age UK plans to take further steps to improve staff knowledge of modern slavery and human trafficking, and requirements under the Act by developing a training plan to increase staff awareness and understanding.
We will look to work with our procurement function to develop our plans and controls in this area.
This statement is made pursuant to Part 6, section 54 of the Act and constitutes Age UK’s anti-slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending 31 March 2021 and has been approved by the Age UK Board of Trustees on behalf of Age UK and its charitable and trading subsidiaries.
Chief Executive, Age UK
22 July 2021