Modern Day Slavery Act - Company Statement 2017/18
(This statement is provided under the Modern Day Slavery Act (2015) and outlines the steps taken during the year to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in its own business and its supply chains. It will also give an outline of future activity in this area.)
FWG Sales Limited (FWG) is a supplier of beds, bedroom & occasional furniture and mattresses to the UK retail trade. It has 39 staff that are divided into a number of departments: Product Development, Finance, Compliance, QA, Sales Administration, Design, Warehousing and Delivery.
All potential employees are required at interview stage to provide passports and any required right to work documentation. This information is held on file for all employees. All staff are paid by bank transfer and no cash payment for wages are ever provided. The business does occasionally use temporary staff, who are provided by one agency whose procedures have been vetted by FWG management.
The company does have a policy against human trafficking and slavery.
During the last 12 months, FWG have conducted training with all staff members to raise awareness of the human trafficking and slavery. The training was conducted by the FWG Compliance Manager and any new starters will be trained during Summer 2017.
FWG has 13 factories, 3 based in the UK the rest overseas in China, Malaysia, Taiwan, Turkey and Vietnam. In order to supply FWG, all factories have to undergo regular independent audits from both an ethical and technical perspective. In addition, all our factories are visited regularly by FWG staff. The addition of the Turkish Factory prompted the creation of new policy to check to ensure that Syrian refugees in particular were being treated fairly within the production centre.
I am pleased to report that FWG completed successfully the Fast Forward programme with Millbrook Bedding last year and this Summer, Breasley Bedding, will undergo the same new audit process. A follow up with Millbrook is also planned for May 2017.
Work commenced during the year across the entire FWG supply base to capture information about the supplier’s to FWG suppliers’. This information will be assessed once complete to determine the nature and make-up of the parties involved and what degree of scrutiny is in place for their assessment. This work is still ongoing and is expected to be completed Summer 2017 and will inform activities for 2018.
At the current time, FWG still considers all overseas factories in the supply chain as potential risk. This is because FWG experience has shown that the current standard employed for factory assessment and the level of visiting failed to stop issues in the UK supply chain. We note however that no issues of a concerning nature have been raised to date in this area in any audit.
The risk within the secondary supply chain is unknown (i.e. supplier’s to suppliers). The aim is still to have this evaluated in the next twelve months.
FWG had set itself 6 key objectives regarding activities in this area over last financial year: (The item in brackets indicates action taking place this year)
Implement an awareness/training programme for all FWG staff on Modern Day Slavery; (Complete – New Staff- Summer 2017)
Complete the planned audit programme for all required factories; (Complete – 2017 Programme in place)
Work with John Lewis Partnership on the new Fast Forward programme and implemented at Millbrook Bedding; (Complete- Breasley 2017)
Investigate with John Lewis Partnership the ability to develop a Fast Forward approach for overseas factories and if feasible develop the required templates for one of FWG supply areas; (Discussions have taken place and a number of options have been considered but to date no firm project has been developed due the geographic regions that FWG are currently trading with, however work is still ongoing)
Complete development of the component/specification/supply chain data base; (Underway)
Complete collection of at least tier one supply information for the UK and at least 5 overseas factories; (Complete in UK and work still ongoing in overseas factories)
In view of the current position on all the objectives, FWG intend keeping the same objectives for the coming financial year.
If you have any questions on any aspects of this statement please contact me.
For more information on Modern Day Slavery Click www.modernslavery.co.uk