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Slavery and human trafficking statement

This statement sets out UAL’s actions to understand all potential modern slavery risks related to its business and to ensure steps are maintained to prevent slavery and human trafficking.

The University of the Arts London is Europe’s largest specialist arts and design university, and is among the most renowned international institutions in arts, design, fashion and communication. It employs approximately 5,000 staff, teaches approximately 19,000 students and purchases goods, services and works through a variety of supply chain arrangements.

Purpose of this statement

This Statement is designed to satisfy the requirements of Part 6 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, by informing our students, staff, and other stakeholders about the University and its approach to modern slavery, human trafficking, forced and bonded labour and labour rights violations in its supply chains.

Risks identified and action being taken - direct employment of staff

The University mitigates the risk of the occurrence of modern slavery in its teams of directly employed staff through adherence to its HR recruitment and candidate selection policies.

Checks are carried out to ensure that staff recruited are legally able to work in the UK and staff involved in undertaking the recruitment process have attended Selecting the Best training.

In addition, the University’s pay rates are determined in line with UCEA national awards and UAL is working with contractors it uses so that they apply the London Living Wage.

Risks identified and action being taken - employment of staff through recruitment agencies and other sources

Temporary staff and other staff recruited indirectly by the University are recruited through established and accredited sources who can provide assurance that they fully comply with the requirements of legislation relating to the rights and welfare of their candidates and employees.

Agencies provide assurance that the appropriate checks have been made on the temporary staff being supplied to the University.

Additionally, the University has a whistle blowing policy through which staff can raise any concerns related to the direct activities or the supply chains of the University.

Our staff charter reflects the University’s values and ethical standards and sets out the behaviours expected of all staff when representing UAL.

Risks identified and action being taken - students

Although the risks of students experiencing occurrences of modern slavery or human trafficking through direct contact with the University are extremely low, it is appreciated that whilst living within London and the surrounding area, they may become aware of such instances.

In order to mitigate these circumstances, the University has in place easily accessible and well publicised safeguarding channels through which students can obtain assistance, support and advice on their wellbeing.

Risks identified and action being taken - supply chains

UAL has during the year continued to raise awareness and understanding of modern slavery and human rights within the organisation through: training workshops; and by reviewing and amending procurement processes along with any related documentation.

UAL purchases goods, services and works across a wide range of suppliers and has in place purchasing procedures which encompass the principles of fairness and transparency, sustainability, equality and adherence to the Modern Slavery Act 2015. UAL’s standard terms and conditions of business have been updated during the year to include clauses to cover modern slavery.

The procurement team has received training on the Modern Slavery Act and they have worked with colleagues in colleges and university services to ensure an understanding of the risks of modern slavery in our supply chains.

UAL will continue to provide training in the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and will continue to raise awareness of modern slavery and trafficking considerations with the purchasers within UAL.

UAL has begun to engage with suppliers, with respect to compliance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015, through the tendering and contracting processes and has reviewed the documentation included in those processes.

UAL has started to categorise the supply chain in order to better understand the areas of the University where the business and supply chains may pose risks in terms of slavery and human trafficking and, where risks are identified, to follow through with an assessment of the processes required to prevent, monitor and mitigate such risks.

UAL has been developing its understanding of the positive contributions it makes to wider society through the considerable purchasing power of the University and the sustainable policies in place within the University.

It has started exploring how this positive impact could be further developed along a similar approach already used by other universities, comprising a flexible framework, to focus on the procurement process and to start to measure the overall positive contribution.

UAL is a member of the London Universities Purchasing Consortium and Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium. These organisations are also members of Procurement England Limited (PEL), the shared vehicle by which English HE purchasing consortia manage joint developmental and improvement projects for collaborative procurement in the education sector.

The purchasing consortia have published a shared sustainability policy that contains steps to ensure transparency within their supply chains. Throughout the year HE purchasing consortia have continued to demonstrate their commitment to work with suppliers and members to manage the risks to human rights within 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 2017.