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Anti-Slavery Annual Statement 2021-22

Introduction

Powys County Council will not tolerate modern slavery or human trafficking in our organisation or in our supply chains.  We will also work to ensure that we have systems in place to adopt and progress the Welsh Government's code of practice for ethical employment in our supply chains.

The Council adopted the Welsh Governments Code of practice for Ethical Employment in Supply Chains on 31st January 2018 and adopted out first Modern Slavery Policy at a meeting of Cabinet on 11th July 2018.  This statement sets out the steps that we have taken to tackle modern slavery and human trafficking and to promote ethical employment and transparency in our supply chains.  Our document Powys County Council's Anti-Slavery Action Plan sets out how we will do this. 

We have also appointed County Councillor Aled Wyn Davies as our Modern Slavery Champion.

Who we are and what we do

Powys County Council is responsible for a wide range of services in the area for individuals, communities and businesses. The Council has set out its vision for the future to be an open and enterprising Council in its Vision 2025.

Our Policy on Modern Slavery

Powys County Council's Modern Slavery Policy adopts an integrated approach bringing together key areas of social care, safeguarding, policy support, human resources, procurement, customer services, environmental health, housing and homelessness services and civil contingencies. 

Powys County Council's Anti-Slavery Policy covers the 12 commitments of the Welsh Government's 'Code of Practice on Ethical Employment in the Supply Chains,' and also refers to safeguarding processes and responsibilities under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and the Social Services Wellbeing Act 2014. We have informed the Welsh Government that we are fully committed to comply with the Code.

Our Process for Tackling Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking and Providing Support for Survivors

We recognise that the role of Powys County Council with regards to Modern Slavery prevention includes identifying and supporting victims and working in partnership locally.

We have processes in place to support survivors of Modern Slavery.

  • We will notify the Home Office of potential victims.
  • As a First Responder under the Modern Slavery Act 2015, we will refer potential victims to the National Referral Mechanism, (NRM).
  • We will refer all child victims to Independent Child Trafficking Advocates, (ICTAs)
  • Victims can be supported through our homelessness service.

Supply Chains

As part of Tender Process' potential Suppliers are requested to sign up to the Welsh Governments Code of Practice for Ethical Employment in Supply Chains, which has been signed up to by the Council's Cabinet.  Providers will be expected to work towards ethical commissioning.

Our Employment Practices

We are committed to ensuring that, at a minimum, National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW) legislation are strictly complied with.  The Council adopt relevant National Pay Agreements for employees, Powys County Council's pay rates are considerably above the current NLW and NMW levels.  Powys County Council also adopts the Living Wage Foundation rate of pay which further increases the pay of the lowest paid staff above the NMW/NLW.  Furthermore, a Single Status agreement was implemented in April 2013 to ensure continued compliance with the Equal Pay Act.

We will ensure that false self-employment is not undertaken and that zero-hour contracts are not used unfairly.

Our policies ensure that staff can freely join trade unions.

Training and Guidance

An Anti-Slavery Partnership Toolkit has been promoted on the staff intranet site. We are continuing to work to raise awareness of modern slavery through corporate communications and the provision of training courses.

In 2019 a Safer Recruitment Guidance Document was issued. The processes were audited and were found to be thorough, and that an effective recruitment and selection policy is in place to deter and prevent fraudsters from seeking employment with the council.

In 2020 the Safeguarding Children Guidance was published to be used in conjunction with the All Wales Safeguarding Procedures 2019.  These were publicised through our Intranet site. In addition, courses are available to all staff on Safeguarding (Adults and Childrens) and the Wales Safeguarding Procedures.  A training course is being developed for Modern Slavery - Modern Slavery (Code of Practice: Ethical Employment in Supply Chains).

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