Modern Slavery Statement 2018
This statement is made pursuant to Section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (“the Act”) and sets out the steps Knights Group Holdings plc and its subsidiaries (“Knights or “We”) are taking to assess and mitigate any risk of slavery and human trafficking in its businesses for the financial year ending 30 April 2018. It constitutes Knights’ first transparency statement on slavery and human trafficking and will be updated annually.
Knights is opposed to any form of forced or bonded labour, including modern slavery or human trafficking and is committed to conducting its business ethically and responsibly. In an increasingly global marketplace, we recognise that all businesses have a responsibility to understand whether modern slavery and human trafficking is taking place within their supply chains or in any part of their business and this is a responsibility we take seriously. Knights is committed to tackling slavery and human trafficking wherever we can.
Knights is an English company, listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM), and registered in England and Wales with the number 11290101. We have eight offices in the UK, located in Cheltenham, Chester, Derby, Leicester, Manchester, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Oxford and Wilmslow. We provide a full range of legal services to individual and corporate clients from many sectors, including real estate, financial services and retail. The business is supported by several support functions such as marketing, finance, HR, IT, facilities and risk and compliance.
In 2017/18, Knights had an annual turnover in excess of £36 million.
Knights’ supply chains include leases for the properties we occupy, catering and cleaning services, office design, fit-out and maintenance services, some outsourced business process services, recruitment and employment agencies and the purchase of goods, including office furniture, supplies and IT software and equipment. We also work with other professional service providers such as barristers, medical experts, financial advisors, court services and enforcement, tracing agents, surveyors, planning and environmental consultants, insurance companies and brokers. The vast majority of our supply chain is located within the UK and comprises a wide range of suppliers, from small and medium enterprises to global corporates.
As a professional services business, Knights always works to the highest professional standards and complies with all laws, regulations and rules relevant to our business. We expect the same from our suppliers and business partners.
Our policies on slavery and human trafficking
Knights is committed to ensuring it is not supplied by anyone who engages in human trafficking or modern slavery. Our staff are required to adhere to our Anti-Slavery Policy.
The Anti-Slavery Policy has been approved by our management and ultimate responsibility for the Policy lies with the Chief Executive Officer of Knights. The Policy is implemented by a team led by our HR Director, working closely with all relevant divisions within the business. It is made available to all staff on our intranet.
Our suppliers are required to adhere to our Supplier Code of Conduct. We are committed to working with our suppliers to maintain compliance with this Code of Conduct and these relationships are managed by a team led by our Facilities Director.
Knights also has a Whistleblowing Policy which is published on its intranet site. If our employees have concerns about any wrongdoing or breaches of law, they are able to raise these concerns in confidence without fear of disciplinary action.
What we are doing
Knights’ working practices respect and uphold human rights for our partners, employees and contractors.
During 2018, we began a risk assessment initiative and throughout 2019, we will continue to assess our activities. We are taking the following steps to identify and mitigate any potential risks of modern slavery or human trafficking within our business and our supply chain:
- all of our employees are subject to various HR processes to ensure a right to work in the UK. Where we use external agencies to provide Knights with temporary staff, we undertake our own pre-employment screening on these individuals.
- we are undertaking a detailed review of our procurement processes and conducting a risk assessment of our supply chain; this review remains ongoing and will inform us as to the potential modern slavery risks.
- we will seek to impose contractual terms on our suppliers, asking them to warrant that they, and their own suppliers, are in full compliance with our Supplier Code of Conduct. We will conduct ongoing monitoring and audit our suppliers from time to time to ensure that this is the case. The right to audit will be included in all supply contracts, where relevant and appropriate.
- we shall raise awareness of slavery and human trafficking risks amongst all our staff which will include the provision of information on our intranet and inclusion in our induction programme for new starters. Those employees who have higher levels of interaction with our supply chain shall be required to complete a training programme, highlighting the risks of modern slavery.
This statement has been approved by the Board of Knights Group Holdings plc and its subsidiaries and is signed on their behalf by:
Chief Executive Officer
27 November 2018