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Modern slavery statement

UAL is a specialist arts and design university, with six constituent Colleges: Camberwell College of Arts, Central Saint Martins, Chelsea College of Arts, London College of Communication, London College of Fashion and Wimbledon College of Arts, employing around 5,000 members of staff.

Purpose of this statement

This Statement is published by UAL in compliance with the Modern Slavery Act for the financial year ended July 2020.

For this purpose the term modern slavery describes various forms of exploitation which constitute serious violations of human rights, including human trafficking and forced labour.

The statement sets out the steps UAL is taking to minimise modern slavery risk.

Staff recruitment

In the past year UAL has continued to mitigate the risk of modern slavery in directly employed staff through robust HR recruitment and candidate selection policies and checks.

Temporary staff are only recruited through established and accredited sources who provide assurance to UAL regarding the rights and welfare of their candidates and employees as well as the appropriate checks.

UAL has also a whistleblowing policy through which staff can raise any concerns on modern slavery.

Students

Although the risk of students being subject to modern slavery or human trafficking through direct contact with the University are extremely low, they may become aware of such instances.

To support students, UAL has in place easily accessible and well-publicised safeguarding channels through which students can obtain assistance, support and advice.

Procurement

During the year UAL has maintained its commitment to responsible procurement and to purchasing goods and services. In doing so we support the UK Government’s National Action Plan to implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

UAL procures goods, services and works from a wide range of suppliers across a number of categories, similar to other organisations in the education sector, some of which are considered to present a significant risk of modern slavery. To mitigate this risk, UAL is an active member of the London Universities Purchasing Consortium (LUPC). UAL is thereby able to benefit from research and risk assessments of supply chain structures carried out by LUPC which, in high risk areas, includes due diligence procedures. In addition, through its membership of LUPC, UAL is affiliated to Electronics Watch, the mission of which is to protect the rights of workers in electronics supply chains.

Tenders for major supply contracts in 2019/20 included a number of construction and maintenance programmes. We have engaged a framework of construction suppliers, all of which have been approved on the basis of their Modern Slavery practices. In all cases, suppliers were asked to confirm that they did not practice or condone any activities that could be regarded as violating the human rights of their employees.

In UAL’s catering contract, our chosen supplier implements the Foundation London Living Wage, together with other benefits for every member of staff. The training plan for the supplier includes a Diversity, Equality and Discrimination module for its staff.

We took steps during the year to raise awareness of modern slavery with our procurement professionals through specialist training. We have rolled out a training plan to relevant UAL staff in 2019/20 to undertake the online Guide to Modern Slavery procurement module developed by British Universities Finance Directors Group (BUFDG).

The Procurement team had organised a Supplier Day event whereby training relating to Modern Day Slavery, Equality and Diversity and compliance to UAL policies was to be provided to our suppliers in June/July 2020. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, this was deferred.

UAL’s aims for 2020/21

  • Hold a Supplier Day to promote the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act, Equality and Diversity and compliance to UAL policies.
  • Tender for a new FM contractor incorporating Modern Slavery assessments/compliance/London Living wage/responsible procurement initiatives.
  • Tender for a new Access Control service provider incorporating Modern Slavery assessments.
  • Raise greater awareness of the eLearning module available from BUFDG for use by UAL purchasers, in order that they have an understanding of the Modern Slavery Act.
  • Ensure all our procurement professionals receive further advanced training on Modern Slavery, including in-house training where needs are identified.
  • Continue to share best practice with the sector and keep up-to-date on identifying and assessing modern slavery risks within our supply chains.

Approval of statement

This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes the University’s slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ended 2020. It is approved and signed on behalf of the Court of Governors.

Download current and previous statements

Our current statement in PDF format (includes signature):

Previous statements