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. Placements into our services are funded by local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and other organisations in the health and social sector, as well as directly by the individuals we support themselves.
We recognise the scale and seriousness of the problem of modern slavery and human trafficking, and most importantly of the impact on its victims. This statement sets out the steps we have taken during the financial year ending 31st March 2019 in our continuing commitment to tackle modern slavery in its business and supply chains.
Whilst we are confident that the robust recruitment and identity checks we carry out on our staff go some way to ensuring modern slavery is not present in our business, we recognise that this does not eradicate the risk entirely. As an employer of over 9,000 members of staff, a number of whom are originally from outside of the UK, we realise that this potentially represents the biggest risk of modern slavery to our business.
Since publishing our first Modern Slavery Statement in 2017 we have reviewed our learning and development material with the aim of introducing new and more in depth material to educate our staff about modern slavery. In the financial year 2019/2020 we will introduce new e-learning material, which will be compulsory for all service managers and staff working in recruitment. The key aims of the new training are to:
- raise awareness of the very real problem of modern slavery;
- recognise the trademark signs which may indicate a case of modern slavery;
- inform our staff what they should do if they suspect a case of modern slavery or human trafficking in terms of notifying the relevant authorities and to obtain the appropriate and proper support for the victims.
We continue to ensure that our suppliers and any third partners we work with are also complying with the principles of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. In particular, this year our Quality department carried out a detailed audit of our use of temporary staff from recruitment agencies. Subsequently stakeholders from across the business reviewed and revised our standard terms of engagement with recruitment agencies with one of the key aims being to ensure that the robust recruitment and identity checks we carry out for our own staff are being replicated in our supply chain. Going forwards, we will continue to carry out regular audits of the recruitment agencies we use to ensure that they continue to meet these requirements.
We are also acutely aware that there are many documented incidents of people with learning disabilities in the UK being victims of modern slavery, and we recognise that the people we support themselves are at a higher risk. The introduction of compulsory training for all of our managers will add to the already rigorous safeguarding policies and procedures we have in place to do all we can to keep the people we support safe and free from any type of exploitation.
This statement was approved by the Board of Directors on 28th February 2019.
Chief Executive Officer
For and on behalf of Voyage 1 Limited and its subsidiary companies
5 March 2019