This statement is made and published pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the "Act"). It sets out the actions taken by Wessex Water Limited and its relevant subsidiaries in the UK' (together with Wessex Water Limited, "Wessex Water") and constitutes its slavery and human trafficking statement for its current financial year (1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022).
Wessex Water is predominantly a provider of water and sewerage services, with Wessex Water Services Limited being a statutory undertaker operating across the south west of England including Dorset, Somerset, Bristol, most of Wiltshire and parts of Gloucestershire and Hampshire.
Wessex Water's support functions, including human resources, information technology and procurement services are primarily provided by Wessex Water Services Limited at its registered office in Bath, UK. All the steps taken in this statement are taken by Wessex Water.
Wessex Water is committed to meeting the aims of the Act and to having a work environment that is free from human trafficking, slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour. Wessex Water strongly opposes slavery and human trafficking in its supply chains and in any part of its business.
Wessex Water has internal policies and procedures in place to ensure that it operates responsibly and ethically as a business including its whistleblowing and anti-bribery policies.
Our supply chain
Wessex Water continues to build and maintain longstanding relationships with trusted suppliers, making clear its expectations of business behaviour.
Wessex Water's standard procurement processes include a variety of checks and reviews designed to ensure that suppliers comply with all applicable laws and regulations, including the Act. With this in mind:
- in 2020, Wessex Water worked with its framework suppliers to review the clothing supply chain tracing products back from origin to verify what measures suppliers were taking to ensure the chain did not involve slavery and human trafficking;
- in 2020/21, Wessex Water further improved its modern slavery supplier on-boarding questions to ensure that suppliers, including smaller suppliers, are aware of their obligations under, and confirm their compliance with, the Act.
Modern slavery clauses are also included in Wessex Water's contracts and purchase orders' standard terms and conditions.
These measures seek to ensure that suppliers meet their obligations under the Act and where required, demonstrate the steps they have taken to monitor compliance.
In 2021, Wessex Water will also complete refresher training for individuals involved in the procurement process to remind them of the requirements of the Act and Wessex Water's approach to compliance.
Wessex Water rigorously checks that all of its employees have the legal right to work in the UK and the same rigour is applied to ensure that agency workers are subject to the same checks. In 2021, Wessex Water has developed “Recruitment and Selection Guidelines’ to provide clear guidelines to anyone involved in the recruitment process on right to work checks.
Wessex Water ensures that its employees receive the statutory employment rights to which they are entitled and are paid at or above the minimum wage. It also has processes and programmes in place which seek to create not only a safe, fair and inclusive working environment, but also one that supports wellbeing and learning.
As well as setting out the rights and benefits which are available to Wessex Water employees, published policies, employee handbooks and individual contracts of employment make it clear what actions and behaviours are expected of them.
Risk management process
Wessex Water has in place a risk management process with internal auditors to identify, assess, monitor and report on perceived business risks and provide assurance on the effective operation of internal controls, including compliance with its obligations under the Act.
Whilst Wessex Water has uncovered no evidence of slavery and human trafficking within its own operations and those of its suppliers, it will continue to Keep its policies, processes and controls under review.
This statement was approved by the Boards of Directors of the respective companies within Wessex Water in March 2021 and will be reviewed on an annual basis.
Group Chief Executive
Relevant group companies include Wessex Water Services Limited and Wessex Water Enterprises Limited.
Download Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement 2021