A1 Care Moderns Slavery
Title of Policy:
Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy in Care Services Policy Statement 2020
The purpose of this policy is to provide all employees with an understanding of the considerable importance it places on the safeguarding of everyone connected with A1 Care and its operations, providing information, instruction, and guidance on the expected behaviours at all times.
Modern slavery is a heinous crime and a morally reprehensible act that deprives a person's liberty and dignity for another person's gain. It is a real problem for millions of people around the world, including many in developed countries, who are being kept and exploited in various forms of slavery. Every company is at risk of being involved in this crime through its own operations and/or its supply chain.
Modern slavery is a broad term that refers to a wide range of exploitative practices. In the workplace, it can exist in the form of:
- Human Trafficking — This type of criminal exploitation involves moving people (often through international borders) using coercion, deception, fraud, or force for labour.
- Forced Labour — This type of modern slavery involves forcing workers to work under threat of harm and punishment.
- Bonded Labour — Also known as debt bondage, this widespread form of modern slavery involves forcing people to work to pay off their debts, often under poor working conditions and with little control over how their labour translates to debt payments.
- Child Slavery — Minors (i.e., below 18) are trafficked and/or forced to work, often for very low wages.
Victims of these modern slavery practices all have one thing in common: they work under illegal circumstances. Many victims are forced to work against their will and end up committing crimes during their work.
At A1 Care we have a zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery and are fully committed to preventing slavery and human trafficking in our operation. We have taken concrete steps to tackle modern slavery, as outlined in our statement. This statement sets out the actions that we have taken to understand all potential modern slavery risks related to our business, and to implement steps to prevent slavery and human trafficking.
This policy describes the values, principles and procedures that underpin this care service’s approach to any situation where it becomes aware of, or has evidence of, involvement or the risk of involvement, direct or indirect, in enterprises that subject people to conditions that meet current definitions of modern slavery, human trafficking and forced labour. It applies to this care service and all other organisations with which it has dealings.
It is written in line with the safeguarding duties of local authorities under the Care Act 2014 (and equivalent applicable devolved government laws) to ensure any vulnerable adult is not subject to abuse by being a victim of modern slavery or forced labour, nor to any form of human trafficking or, for example, being coerced into such as “county line” drug trafficking.
It is also written to reflect the aims of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 that sets out the responsibilities and duties of corporate businesses and charities to prevent and avoid any dealings with any network or organisation implicated in modern slavery or human trafficking and to alert the police and other responsible authorities if they come across it. The service understands that unless its total annual turnover is over £36 million it will not be subject to the Act’s annual reporting requirements.
Modern slavery includes, under its definition, forced and compulsory labour, human trafficking of children and adults and organised activities that involve people being coerced, controlled and exploited to carry out work to which they do not freely consent for the financial gain of their controllers.
As a care service, we ensure no vulnerable adult in our care is subject to any conditions that meet the Care Act (and similar) definitions of modern slavery. If the service has any suspicions, information or evidence that any of its service users are victims of, or at risk of, becoming victims of modern slavery, exploitation or forced labour, it will take immediate protective action by alerting the appropriate safeguarding authority or police and apply all safeguarding procedures that then follow.
We also do not employ staff under any conditions that might make us vulnerable to accusations or suspicions that we are employing people under conditions that would amount to modern slavery and exploitation as defined. All staff are subject to recruitment procedures that comply with both employment law and registration requirements with pay and conditions of employment that meet all statutory requirements.
If we have evidence that any of our employees are subject to exploitation and forced labour by third parties, we would exercise our duty of care to our employees by reporting our concerns as whistle-blowers to the police or local unit responsible for investigating modern slavery to decide on further investigation or action. We would not act or discriminate against the employee if they are meeting all the required employment conditions and had been recruited in line with the service’s recruitment procedures.
Contractors and Suppliers
As a care service we inevitably deal with several outside organisations as suppliers of goods and services. We know that these organisations might form part of a longer supply chain. We make all reasonable efforts to ensure that no link in the supply chain is producing goods and services made under conditions of modern slavery or which might involve human trafficking.
We expect all our contractors and suppliers to have a similar zero tolerance and due diligence approach to modern slavery and human trafficking and only work with organisations that have robust anti-modern slavery policies that operate in other parts of their supply chain and who comply with the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
We explain in our replies to businesses who respond to tenders and adverts for goods and services that we will check if they employ people under conditions of modern slavery and if they do similar checks with other businesses in their supply chain. In doing so, we expect those businesses to have taken all reasonable efforts to exclude their suppliers from colluding with modern slavery practices.
All staff members, particularly those responsible for procuring goods and services, are expected to report any concerns about any issue or suspicion of modern slavery in any parts of their dealings at the earliest possible stage.
Anyone raising concerns about slavery or human trafficking that affects the care service will be protected by the service’s whistleblowing policy.
All staff are made familiar with the anti-slavery policy particularly in respect of the safeguarding of vulnerable service users and they are expected to report any concerns in line with the service’s safeguarding policies and procedures.
Staff responsible for the procurement of goods and services will receive training so that they can ensure that the service is never implicated in any dealings that would render it vulnerable to accusations or charges that it might have breached modern anti-slavery law and how to respond to any suspicions or evidence of breaches in the law.
Steps to be taken if abuse is happening or is alleged
All employees have a duty to report abuse of any kind and will be fully supported when doing so.
However, they should not:
- Directly challenge the person accused of abuse.
- Promise to keep abuse a secret.
- Pass comment or opinion when a person discloses an allegation of abuse.
- Undertake their own investigation, which could harm evidence or alert the abuser.
- Listen and reassure
At the outset it is important to listen carefully and attentively to what is being said and to reassure the person that the allegation is being taken seriously. It is important to explain that it is likely that information will need to be shared – do not promise to keep it a secret. When, and as soon as possible, take a note of what has been said as well as the time and date using the Incident Report book or other reporting and recording mechanisms available.
- When Urgent reporting is required
The police should be contacted immediately if a crime has been committed or if it is suspected a crime has been committed or the Client is considered to be in immediate danger of harm. Ideally, such action should only be taken after consultation with the Manager, although is extreme cases, and to deal with an emergency situation, this may not be possible. If the police are informed, the Manager will inform the Care Quality Commission without delay.
- Use the multi-Company policy and procedure
If the Client is not in immediate danger staff must refer the matter to the Manager who is responsible for consulting local adult protection procedures applying to A1 Care.
- Contact the adult protection team- ASC contact centre.
The Manager will contact the local adult protection team to take advice. This will help inform how the investigation should proceed and who will take responsibility for different aspects of the investigation.
- Contact the Care Quality Commission (CQC)
The Manager will contact the Care Quality Commission to say consideration is being made in making an adult protection report.
- Suspension and investigation
A1 Care will consider suspension of the worker as part of the investigatory process and will follow the procedures laid down internally in dealing with disciplinary matters.
- Inform the insurer
A1 Care’s insurer will be informed about the investigation at an early stage.
- Follow police advice
In cases where the police are involved, they may wish to conduct a criminal investigation and require a provider not to pursue internal investigations which may hamper the evidence. A1 Care will always follow the police advice.
- Consider referral to a barring list operated by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
Referrals to these lists should follow the DBS’s own guidance, which states that generally they should be made once the disciplinary process has concluded and there is evidence that a referral should be made.
- Take legal advice during any disciplinary process
In cases where the dismissal of an employee is the possible outcome of a disciplinary investigation and procedure, A1 Care will ensure that it accurately follows its own disciplinary process. This should help in establishing fairness in respect of any sanction or dismissal, although legal advice will be taken in more difficult cases. Dismissal must always be fair and proportionate to the allegation investigated. There may be other sanctions, including a written warning, for example where this is considered most appropriate to the circumstances.
- Record keeping
A1 Care will ensure that all allegations and incidents are recorded both in-house and on the personal file of the Client. All of our information is recorded electronically on our PASS system. Any handwritten notes are also scanned and attached to the Clients file both on PASS and Care planner, for easy auditing/storage.
- Keep the Client informed
A1 Care will keep the Client informed of what is happening and will endeavour to ensure that their safety, security, and care does not lapse in the course of what may be an unsettling time for them. A1 Care will inform the Client of the outcome of investigations and the complaints procedure should they be unhappy with the outcome.
KLOE Reference for this Policy
Regulations directly linked to this Policy
Regulations relevant to this Policy
Regulation 12: Safe care and treatment
Regulation 13: Safeguarding service users from abuse and improper treatment
Regulation 19: Fit and proper persons employed
Regulation 10: Dignity and respect
Regulation 17: Good governance
Role and duties of BCP Safeguarding Adults Boards
The overarching purpose of an SAB is to help and safeguard adults with care and support needs. It does this by:
- Assuring itself that local safeguarding arrangements are in place as defined by the Care Act 2014 and statutory guidance.
- Assuring itself that safeguarding practice is person-centred and outcome focused.
- Working collaboratively to prevent abuse and neglect where possible.
- Ensuring agencies and individuals give timely and proportionate responses when abuse or neglect have occurred.
- Assuring itself that safeguarding practice is continuously improving and enhancing the quality of life of adults in its area.
The SAB must lead adult safeguarding arrangements across its locality and oversee and coordinate the effectiveness of the safeguarding work of its member and partner agencies.
This will require the SAB to develop and actively promote a culture with its members, partners and the local community that recognises the values and principles contained in ‘Making Safeguarding Personal’. It should also concern itself with a range of issues which can contribute to the wellbeing of its community and the prevention of abuse and neglect, such as:
- The safety of people who use services in local health settings, including mental health.
- The safety of adults with care and support needs living in social housing.
- Effective interventions with adults who self-neglect, for whatever reason.
- The quality of local care and support services.
- The effectiveness of prisons in safeguarding offenders.
- Making connections between adult safeguarding and domestic abuse.
Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards
Section 13 of the Children Act 2004 requires each local authority to establish a Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) for their area and specifies the organisations and individuals (other than the local authority) that should be represented on LSCBs
Statutory objectives and functions of LSCBs
An LSCB must be established for every local authority area. The LSCB has a range of roles and statutory functions including developing local safeguarding policy and procedures and scrutinising local arrangements. The statutory objectives and functions of the LSCB are described in the box below.
Statutory objectives and functions of LSCBs
Section 14 of the Children Act 2004 sets out the objectives of LSCBs, which are:
- To coordinate what is done by each person or body represented on the Board for the purposes of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in the area; and
- to ensure the effectiveness of what is done by each such person or body for those purposes.
Regulation 5 of the Local Safeguarding Children Boards Regulations 2006 sets out that the functions of the LSCB, in relation to the above objectives under section 14 of the Children Act 2004, are as follows:
developing policies and procedures for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in the area of the authority, including policies and procedures in relation to:
the action to be taken where there are concerns about a child's safety or welfare, including thresholds for intervention;
training of persons who work with children or in services affecting the safety and welfare of children;
recruitment and supervision of persons who work with children;
investigation of allegations concerning persons who work with children;
safety and welfare of children who are privately fostered;
cooperation with neighbouring children's services authorities and their Board partners;
communicating to persons and bodies in the area of the authority the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, raising their awareness of how this can best be done and encouraging them to do so;
monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of what is done by the authority and their Board partners individually and collectively to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and advising them on ways to improve;
participating in the planning of services for children in the area of the authority; and
undertaking reviews of serious cases and advising the authority and their Board partners on lessons to be learned.
A1 Care will co-operate fully with local Safeguarding Boards, and respect and work within local policies and procedures aimed at ensuring that the obligations and aims of the Boards are met, fully and consistently, and that everyone associated with A1 Care (Clients, staff, and service providers) are protected from any form of abuse.