Last updated: 29 April 2024

Voyage Care is a provider of care and support to adults with learning disabilities, physical disabilities and other complex and challenging support needs across the UK. The people we support are funded by local authorities, Integrated Care Boards and other health and social care organisations, as well as directly by the individuals we support themselves.

Voyage Care is committed to the principles of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and recognise the scale and seriousness of the problem of modern slavery and human trafficking, and most importantly of the impact on its victims. We undertake robust recruitment and identity checks to ensure modern slavery is not present in our business, but recognise vigilance is required as the risk cannot be eradicated entirely. We employ over 10,000 people, some of whom are originally from outside of the UK. Employment of people from overseas potentially represents the biggest risk of modern slavery to our business and we are cognisant of the significant increase in modern slavery referrals across the health and social care sector within the last financial year. We are an equal opportunities employer, fully committed to creating a safe working environment for all our staff, where they feel confident to report any concerns.

This statement sets out the steps we have taken during the financial year ending 31st March 2024 in our continuing commitment to tackle modern slavery in our business and supply chains.

Training and awareness

We have maintained very high participation rates in the modern slavery e- learning module which was rolled out in 2020 to all Service Managers, Operations Managers, Heads of Department and the Recruitment, HR, Learning and Development and Legal teams. It is also now a mandatory training module for our Regional Support Managers who work across multiple services in a region.

We will continue to raise awareness of modern slavery to our colleagues by sharing relevant informative via Hive, our intranet, and through briefings cascaded via our managers. E-learning is being supplemented with a Modern Slavery ‘Red Flags’ quick guide available on Hive.

Our documentation provides guidance on how to report any suspected cases of modern slavery to the Modern Slavery Helpline and we continue to encourage suggestions from our employees for any additional measures we can put in place to further reduce the risk of modern slavery.

Recruitment processes

Following the end of free movement between mainland Europe and the UK in 2021, due to more restrictive immigration systems, there is an increased risk of exploitation of migrant workers.

Nationwide recruitment challenges continue to impact upon the care sector, and we continue to work with a range of approved recruitment agencies. These agencies are already subject to comprehensive due diligence checks and are required to sign up to our specific recruitment agency terms and conditions to ensure that the robust recruitment and identity checks we carry out for our own permanent and bank staff are replicated in our supply chain. For example, completion of Personal Profile document that evidences the identity and right to work checks undertaken by the recruitment agency is now required for each agency worker who works in one of our services.

We have a designated International Recruitment Manager and have a Sponsorship Recruitment Toolkit to support our service managers with the process of recruiting safely and legally from outside the UK.

Supplier and third-party partners

Our purchase to pay system allows our services to purchase from approved suppliers which provides control and oversight of our supply chains. Our contracts with our suppliers contain clauses relating to our mutual legal obligations to tackle modern slavery and this year we introduced a Business Partner Code of Conduct for our suppliers which includes a summary of the statutory requirements of complying with the principles of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

Monitoring our effectiveness

We consider on an annual basis, the effectiveness of our internal policies which support our commitment to eradicating Modern Slavery and the measures we have taken to comply with the Act; where necessary, we will adapt our practices as required. We have not received any reports from employees, external agencies or the public that any modern slavery practices have been identified.

This statement was approved by the Board of Directors on 29 April 2024.

Name: Jayne Davey

Position: Interim Chief Executive Officer

For and on behalf of VC Healthcare Topco Limited and its subsidiary companies

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