Modern Slavery

In accordance with Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, the University is required to prepare a slavery and human trafficking statement for each financial year, setting out what steps it has taken to ensure modern slavery is not taking place in its business or supply chains.

The University’s slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ended 31 July 2016 is below.


Slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ended 31 July 2016 
(issued pursuant to section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015)

Introduction

The University is committed to ensuring that there is no slavery or human trafficking in our supply chains or any part of our business. These processes set out below reflect the University’s commitment to acting ethically and with integrity across its organisation.

This Statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes the University’s slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending 31 July 2016.

This statement was approved by Council on 31 October 2016.

Our Business

The University of Oxford is a civil corporation established under common law, which was formally incorporated by the Act for Incorporation of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge 1571 under the name of 'The Chancellor Masters and Scholars of the University of Oxford'.  The University of Oxford is an exempt charity under the Charities Act 2011. 

The University operates in the Higher Education Sector and aims to lead the world in research and education. We seek to do this in ways which benefit society on a national and a global scale. The University’s strategic plan for the period 2013-2018 can be accessed here: https://www.ox.ac.uk/about/organisation/strategic-plan?wssl=1

The University is composed of academic departments and research centres, administrative departments, libraries and museums.

Oxford University Press is a department of the University, and not a separate legal entity.  However, it has a different financial year end to the rest of the University and as such, has produced its own slavery and human trafficking statement which can be accessed here. This statement is made in respect of the Press’s financial year ended 31 March 2016.

Employment policies

The University’s approach to recruitment, including specific expectations in respect of the recruitment of children is set out on its website, which can be accessed here: http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/personnel/recruit/background/employchild/

At the point of recruitment, the University ensures that appropriate checks on prospective employees are completed in accordance with the law.  This process is set out here: http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/personnel/recruit/preempcheck/

The University is committed to ensuring that people are paid appropriately for the work that they carry out.  This commitment is set out here:  http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/personnel/reward/paystructure/.

Public Interest Disclosure (whistleblowing) Code of Practice

The University places the greatest importance on the integrity of its operations, and has in place a number of policies and procedures to address problems that may arise for its employees and students. Where there are genuine concerns about possible malpractices or improprieties that are not adequately covered by other University policies or procedures, staff are encouraged to make a public interest disclosure. The relevant guidance can be accessed here: http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/personnel/cops/pid/

Due Diligence Processes

The supply chain of the University includes a large number of diverse suppliers, including suppliers of goods and services that directly support research and teaching activity, for example large scale laboratory equipment and laboratory consumables, and suppliers of indirect goods and services not directly related to these activities.

The University procures goods and services from suppliers across the world.  As part of its initiative to identify and mitigate risk in respect of its supply chain the University has systems in place to identify and assess potential risk areas in our supply chains and to mitigate the risk of slavery and human trafficking occurring in our supply chains. These measures are described below:

For some time, the University has asked suppliers to complete a due diligence questionnaire, which is used for all contracts exceeding £100,000 (ex-VAT) in value, and is recommended for use by departments when contracting between £25,000 and £100,000 (ex-VAT).  From December 2015 the University amended this due diligence questionnaire to include a potential ground for rejection relating to convictions under the Modern Slavery Act 2015. The University also asks that suppliers confirm they comply with and have written policies and staff training in place in respect of s54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

Optional supplementary questions are also available for high risk contracts.

For purchases under £25,000 (ex-VAT) an additional template has been developed advising that suppliers should be asked to confirm there have been no convictions under the Modern Slavery Act 2015, or if there have been that appropriate steps have been taken to rectify the identified issues.

All preferred suppliers are also asked to confirm annually that no convictions have occurred in relation to the Modern Slavery Act 2015, or if a conviction has occurred that appropriate steps have been taken to rectify the identified issues.

Training

The University provides its managers with guidance on the recruitment process which can be accessed here: http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/personnel/recruit/recruitproc/

All members of the University Purchasing Department received introductory training on the Modern Slavery Act at the beginning of 2016.