North Devon Homes, as a registered charity provides affordable housing for rent in North Devon and provides landlord, individual support and community services; our commercial subsidiary Anchorwood Ltd develops market sale homes. We own and manage over 3,300 homes providing services and support to s over 10,000 residents, our vision is “Working together to create communities where people want to live”. As a group we procure and deliver £25m of services predominantly in the local economy and through our supply chains. We are committed to ensuring that our business culture supports our achievement of this vision, as such we promote the highest standards in how we operate ensuring that we fully comply with the principles of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the Act). This statement summarises North Devon Homes’ Group approach.
- We are committed to ensuring that all employees, suppliers, and contractors, understand and acknowledge their responsibilities in respect of modern slavery. Within North Devon Homes, our recruitment and staff management systems ensure that all prospective employees are legally entitled to work in the UK and safeguard employees from any abuse or coercion once in our employment. They include:
- carrying out pre-employment checks including work permits, references and, where role appropriate, DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service);
- paying at least the national living wage;
- ensuring that overtime working is voluntary and recompensed, either as pay or time off;
- implementing appropriate grievance procedures and having a comprehensive Whistleblowing Policy in place; and
- having a robust framework of health and safety policies and procedures
- Regular internal audit to ensure compliance
Procurement activities take place in England and our contractors and suppliers are predominantly UK based. We are committed to our social and environmental responsibilities and have zero tolerance for modern slavery or human trafficking in our supply chains, or in any part of our business. Our supply chains include sourcing of goods, services, and works for the delivery and maintenance of quality homes as well as customer service requirements. We work closely with other Housing Associations in the south west, including through the Advantage South West procurement consortium, to identify best practice adopt a continuous improvement ethos to our current processes.
We work with a wide range of contractors, suppliers and partners and some of our supplier’s subcontract work or rely on recruitment agencies to supply temporary or permanent staff. To ensure they comply with the Act, we have incorporated the requirement into our suppliers’ approval process where appropriate. Confirmation is sought from key suppliers to confirm that they are compliant with the Act. By the nature of their businesses, some of our suppliers are potentially at higher risk than others, for example maintenance, repairs and construction companies, cleaning and grounds maintenance contractors and security firms, who may offer lower skilled jobs and pay. Our expectation is that all companies we engage with ensure that their goods, materials and labour-related supply chains fully comply with the Act.
North Devon Homes has Safeguarding Policies in place to ensure that all suspected cases of neglect or abuse including suspected modern slavery or human trafficking are investigated and reported. All our staff receive mandatory Safeguarding Training as part of their induction process and specialist support staff receive additional training as part of their roles. During visits to customers’ homes, we take the opportunity where possible to check for signs of modern slavery and human trafficking, as well as any other welfare concerns which the tenants or members of their households may have. When signing up new tenants we undertake a robust process of background and identification checks. We work closely with local partners and external agencies to identify and tackle tenancy fraud and our Neighbourhoods Team will always investigate any tenancy fraud allegations from customers or the wider community.
North Devon Homes and Anchorwood Ltd are committed to the ongoing improvement in our services and business practices and as such will continue to develop our approach to ensuring our compliance with the Modern Slavery 2015 Act.
This statement applies to:
North Devon Homes Registered Charity No: 1164142
Anchorwood Ltd (a wholly owned subsidiary of North Devon Homes) Co Registration No: 09657903.
Martyn Gimber, Chief Executive