Statement for Financial Year 2018-2019
Supreme Freight Services Ltd Modern Slavery Statement
Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement
This statement is made on behalf of Supreme Freight Services Ltd pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the ‘Act’) and constitutes our slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending July 2019. It sets out the steps taken by Supreme Freight Services Ltd to prevent modern slavery and human trafficking in our own operations and supply chains.
Our Business and Structure
Supreme Freight Services Ltd is a leading international shipping and forwarding agent. Established in 1986 as a family-operated business, we have now been handling international shipments for over 30 years. We import and export freight via air, road and sea and have customers in the United Kingdom, Europe and Asia.
Supreme Freight Services Limited is privately owned and has its head office in Southampton with regional offices in Felixstowe, Heathrow, Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.
We have a team of 20 professional industry experts (based in the UK) working with our customers to understand every detail of their shipping needs so that we can create a tailor-made solution that is truly bespoke.
Our Supply Chains and Due Diligence Process
Supreme Freight Services Ltd contracts with customers and suppliers, (including agencies who provide labour) and our supply chains include receipt of goods direct from manufacturers, customers and their contractors for onward shipment/delivery.
We are committed to ensuring there is no modern slavery or human trafficking in our supply chain or in any part of our business and to act ethically and with integrity in all of our business relationships. We continually review, implement and enforce effective systems and controls to ensure modern slavery and human trafficking is not taking place anywhere in our business or supply chains.
The scale of these supply chains, upstream and downstream, gives us the opportunity to promote respect for human rights and to make a positive impact on people’s lives.
To ascertain and to mitigate the risk of working with a supplier who may have slavery in their supply chains we will continue to:
- Identify and assess potential risk of slavery in our operations and in our supply chain. We currently consider all of our operations and suppliers to be low risk.
- Mitigate the risk of slavery through the performance of due diligence on our suppliers. All new contractors or suppliers have to be pre-qualified through a series of audits and we have now included Modern Slavery Act compliance into that on-boarding process.
- Continually monitor potential risk areas List low risk areas and areas considered higher risk and what you are doing about it
Educate and inform our employees of the type of factors to look out for when dealing with workers (permanent or temporary) in our supply chain
- who may be subject to undue influence and how to report this
- Protect anyone who whistleblows
We expect our suppliers and contractors to demonstrate a zero-tolerance approach to exploitation and to conduct the same level of commitment to the Modern Slavery Act as we do.
As part of our procurement process, we will only engage with suppliers and contractors who confirm their compliance with the Act. We will write to our suppliers to raise awareness and seeking their confirmation of compliance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
As part of our ongoing commitment, Supreme Freight Services Ltd will, over the next twelve months, continue to monitor existing (and new) suppliers to ensure compliance with the MSA and Supreme Freight Services Ltd own stringent controls. It remains a condition of doing business with Supreme Freight Services Ltd that suppliers respect the letter and spirit of the Modern Slavery Act.
To this end, all new contracts and those renewing, now include a clause requiring that our suppliers, and their subcontractors, comply with the Act, and include Supreme Freight Services Ltd right to terminate in the instance of any breach of this obligation.
Supreme Freight Services Ltd has Supplier Policies and a Code of Conduct in place to reinforce this statement.
Within our own operations
Supreme Freight Services Ltd takes the following steps to ensure there is no slavery or human trafficking within its own operations:
Adherence to relevant employment legislation promotes human rights and largely prevents modern slavery. Supreme Freight Services Ltd has a responsibility to ensure that workers are not being exploited, that they are safe at work and that relevant employment, health and safety and human rights laws are adhered to. Employees and contractors are able to raise a suspected case of slavery or human trafficking within the Company’s own operations by following the Company’s internal Whistleblowing Policy.
All employees have a contract of employment that sets out the rights and obligations arising from their employment, including the notice period needed for them to terminate the contract and leave the Company’s employment. Employees are free to serve notice at any time.
- The Company carries out verification of an employee’s identity and ongoing right to work in the UK and does not seek to withhold any of an employee’s identity documents or passport etc.
- The Company pays all its employees at least the national minimum wage and adheres to all legislation in respect of working time and statutory time off, providing for minimum amounts of holiday, time off for personal emergencies, sickness and maternity/paternity leave and minimum rest breaks and periods.
Policies on Modern Slavery
We have a Modern Slavery Policy that reflects our commitment to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business relationships and to implementing and enforcing effective systems and controls to ensure slavery and human trafficking is not taking place anywhere in our supply chains.
We also consider the following policies give us strength in avoiding modern slavery or human trafficking under the Act in our business:
- Business Code of Conduct
- Equal Opportunities & Diversity
- Harassment & Bullying
- Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblowing)
In addition Supreme Freight Services Ltd has a Recruitment Policy and Process to ensure all checks and practices are followed correctly. The company uses only specified, reputable employment agencies to source labour and always verifies the practices of any new agency before accepting workers from that agency.
In the UK, a requirement to comply with the Modern Slavery Act 2015 will be contained in our updated supplier contracts and existing suppliers will be required to comply on renewal.
To date we have not had any instances of modern slavery or grievances related to modern slavery. We do have policies and procedures in place should any of these instances arise.
In the next financial year we intend to introduce a reporting mechanism which details any breaches of our policies, sets out the number of suppliers we have and their commitment to the modern slavery act and progress against our commitments to eradicate modern slavery. These reports will be shared with the Board of Directors who have a strong overview of risks and effectiveness. We will also monitor data pertaining to the training of our employees and suppliers on modern slavery.
To maintain awareness and ensure a high level of understanding of the risks of modern slavery and human trafficking across our business we have trained relevant members of staff and our Anti-slavery Policy is available to all staff.
Supreme Freight Services Ltd ensures that all new joiners to the company are briefed on the Modern Slavery Act 2015 as part of their induction. Supreme Freight Services Ltd is planning to undertake an awareness-building communications campaign to enable all employees to understand that slavery and human trafficking is a persistent problem, the risks and signs of slavery and human trafficking, and the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. The campaign will seek to raise awareness among all employees and remind them of their responsibilities
We wholeheartedly endorse the legislation as a crucially important development in tackling slavery and human trafficking and we will not trade or partner with any business or organisation which is involved in this shocking practice however remotely or indirectly.
We do not tolerate any conduct that contributes to, encourages or facilitates, human trafficking, child labour, forced or compulsory labour, or any other human rights abuses.
The board of directors have all approved this statement and appointed a Director to be responsible for it. The board are fully committed to ensuring no aspect of modern slavery or human trafficking is part of its business operations or its supply chain operations.