Slavery and human trafficking statement

The council has a duty to comply with the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and a responsibility to notify the Secretary of State of suspected victims of slavery or human trafficking as set out under Section 52 of the Act.  The overall aim of the Modern Slavery Act is to pursue organised criminals and opportunistic individuals behind the modern day slave trade and prevent people from engaging in modern slavery crime.

The council is committed to preventing slavery and human trafficking.  This statement sets out the steps taken or being taken by the council which aim to ensure that slavery and/or human trafficking does not occur in its organisation and its supply chain.   Our supply chain includes both direct and indirect suppliers; it is wide ranging including outsourced services supplied by other agencies.

Cumbria County Council has a net budget of £ 370M, employs 6000 people and has contracts with an extensive supply chain that reaches many parts of the Cumbrian economy.

The day to day management of the council is carried out by the Extended Leadership Team which consists of the Chief Executive, Executive Directors and Assistant Directors. The structure chart is given below:

Extended Leadership Team

The council is clear that it has zero tolerance to slavery and human trafficking. The council will not engage with businesses or contract with suppliers who fail to comply with or ensure that their suppliers comply with the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act.

The council's procurement processes require suppliers to confirm that they comply with the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act.  

Tackling modern slavery has been built into the council's Contracts Charter. The council is committed to preventing slavery and human trafficking in its commissioning and procurement and will work to ensure its supply chain is free from such grave acts. Under Section 52 of Act, the council must and will notify the Home Office where there is any suspicion or evidence of slavery or human trafficking.

Recruitment vetting

The Council operates recruitment processes that require all potential new employees to be vetted prior to employment; this allows the council to confirm qualifications, employment history and eligibility to work in the UK. 

Where legislation allows, the council obtain a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for roles that work with children and / or adults who are elderly, ill, disabled or in receipt of social care. If any potential employees have a disclosable criminal history, their offences are risk assessed as part of the employment vetting process. 

Where there is a need to source agency staff the council uses a managed service provider whereby the recruitment practices form part of the contractual arrangements and have been checked in advance of accepting workers.   

Pay

As an employer, the council places high value on the work provided by our workforce which is reflected in our policies and procedures relating to pay; ensuring all employees are paid fairly and equitably.

The council has established safeguarding policies and procedures with its partner agencies to safeguard the welfare of children and vulnerable adults and protect them from harm.  

The council's Code of Conduct outlines the expectations from employees when representing the council. The council encourages all its employees, customers and partners to report any concerns related to the direct activities or the supply chains of the council. Any alleged breaches or reports of inappropriate conduct are investigated through our disciplinary, grievance, complaints or whistleblowing procedures.  

The council's Corporate Performance Management system holds information on the actions, measures (performance indicators) and risks that are linked to the work we do. Reporting on modern slavery and human trafficking could be integrated into the delivery of the Procurement Strategy and the Workforce Plan.

The council has a programme of training that employees must complete to enable staff to know how to report incidents of abuse and neglect including modern slavery and human trafficking.

The council expects its suppliers to have policies, procedures and training in place to know how to raise and report incidents.