The Modern Slavery Act 2015 was introduced to help eradicate slavery, forced labour and human trafficking in the operations and supply chains of companies. This statement is made pursuant to Section 54, Part 6 of the act and includes information about the Jisc group, its own operations and supply chains, and how we are approaching the eradication of slavery and human trafficking in our business. The activities included within this statement reflect the recent implementation of the act and will be developed further in future years.
Jisc is committed to preventing and mitigating exploitation, corruption and bribery. We take this responsibility seriously. We will not accept modern slavery, forced labour and human trafficking anywhere within our operations or supply chain.
The production of an annual statement is not the entirety of Jisc’s corporate responsibility. All staff have a duty to be vigilant to any behaviour which suggests a breach of the Modern Slavery Act and training is being designed to raise awareness across the Jisc group. With the implementation of the EU non-financial reporting directive from 2017, we will be further extending our reporting relating to respect for human rights.
This statement has been reviewed and agreed by the Jisc board.
Jisc group structure
The Jisc group is made up of three companies. Jisc is a registered charity (company number 05747339; charity number 1149740) and is the holding company of two wholly-owned subsidiary companies – Jisc Services Limited (company number 02881024) and Jisc Commercial Limited (company number 09316933).
Jisc is the only company in the Jisc group which is required to produce a slavery and human trafficking statement, though the risk areas and activities outlined in this statement apply equally to all companies in the Jisc group.
What Jisc does
Jisc provides and advises on digital technologies and content for UK education and research. In doing so, we assist the educational providers in the sectors we serve to deliver against their own strategic priorities to be efficient, effective and world-leading education and research institutions. We help our sectors to remain competitive in a global marketplace by having access to innovative services and technologies that are unique to the UK in their delivery through Jisc as a central source of infrastructure and innovation.
We deliver support to our sectors in three main areas:
- Operating shared digital infrastructure and services
- Negotiating sector-wide deals with IT vendors and commercial publishers
- Providing trusted advice and practical assistance
We directly employ more than 500 staff across the UK, as a combination of office-based staff and home-workers. We are content that our own operations are free of slavery and human trafficking. Colleagues across the Jisc group work under comparable terms and conditions that are in accordance with UK employment law.
We have a range of employment policies in place which ensure that our employees are fairly treated, supported and remunerated for their work. These policies include, but are not limited to: equality and diversity, pay and reward, annual leave, health safety and wellbeing, prevention of harassment and bullying, and whistleblowing. All of these policies are available on request.
Jisc supply chains and risk areas
We have a team of procurement specialists managing procurement processes. The suppliers we use to deliver our activities, and our own operations, are primarily EU based.
We also create, negotiate and have access to a series of frameworks - umbrella agreements put in place with a group of suppliers who fit certain criteria and in accordance with the EU public contracts regulations 2015.
We contract with a range of suppliers, from large international IT companies to local cleaning and catering companies. Companies providing manual or lower skilled workers to provide services are likely to be at greater risk of exploitation – eg cleaning companies for Jisc offices in the UK, or workers producing technology components or Jisc-branded goods overseas. These areas will be the focus of our attention in the coming year. We will evaluate a small number of first-tier (direct) suppliers in these areas in 2016-17.
As part of our approach to eradicating modern slavery, forced labour and human trafficking, from Autumn 2016, we require all commercial organisations bidding for Jisc work to provide a copy or link to their anti-slavery statement. Where such a statement does not exist (for example, where the bidder does not meet the act’s criteria for a statement to be produced), we require a statement from the bidder confirming that it is committed to and acts according to the moral principles of the act.
Training and awareness-raising
An overview of the act will be available to all staff in the Jisc group alongside this statement. Staff will be expected to familiarise themselves with the key requirements of the act and their responsibility as individuals to report behaviour, to designated Jisc staff, which they believe suggests a breach of the act.
Jisc’s whistleblowing policy will be updated in the coming months to include appropriate reference to the act and the duty of staff. The processes within the policy will be reviewed to ensure that they are appropriate for behaviours reported in the context of the act.
In the coming financial year (to 31 July 2017), we will:
- Update the whistleblowing policy and continue to raise awareness with all staff across the Jisc group
- Raise awareness of the act within Jisc via presentations at staff meetings and webinars and via the Jisc procurement team
- Embed the requirements of the act into all procurement processes and policies
- Review and amend our contract terms to respond to the provisions of the act, including reserving our rights to terminate contracts with suppliers in the event that there is evidence of non-compliance with the act
- Undertake a risk assessment of suppliers to seek slavery and human trafficking statements from all companies required to produce such a statement
- Investigate joining a monitoring organisation to audit the supply chain of technology components