Anti-slavery and human trafficking
What is Modern Slavery?
It’s estimated there are more people in slavery than at any point in human history. Types of slavery include child trafficking, forced labour, sexual exploitation, criminal exploitation and domestic servitude. There is no typical victim of slavery, but it is prevalent among the most vulnerable or within minority or socially excluded groups, often “well hidden in plain sight”.
This statement is made in accordance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the Act) which requires organisations like ours, with a turnover of more than £36 million, to publish an annual ‘Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement’. The statement sets out actions we have taken to prevent modern slavery from occurring in our business and supply chain for the financial year ending 31 March 2023.
Silva is part of one of the South of England’s largest housing providers, Abri Group Limited with 42,000 homes and assets. The majority of our properties are general needs housing, but we also have independent living schemes and shared ownership. As we grow, we want to re-establish our strong local presence, deepening our connection with our customers and communities and providing a really good service.
For the purposes of this statement, ‘Abri Group Limited comprises of The Swaythling Housing Society Limited and Silva Homes. All three organisations are housing providers and Registered Societies under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014, registered with the Regulator of Social Housing.
Silva takes a zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery across all areas of the organisation, as well as in our supply chains. We are committed to ensuring we are not connected to modern slavery in any way and our aim is to ensure that our business always operates in an open and transparent way.
Our customers and communities
Silva has always sought to combat exploitation in its communities. We want to tackle inequalities we can see across our geography. This means making strong, positive and life-changing contributions to our communities based on our growing understanding of the needs of those who live in them. Continuing to understand and address the risks of modern slavery in our neighbourhoods is important for us as we work hard to create thriving communities.
Our people policies emphasise our commitment to creating an inclusive environment in which colleagues are free from discrimination, harassment or victimisation.
We encourage a positive work-life balance and promote colleague wellbeing through a variety of initiatives covering physical health, mental health and financial wellbeing. Colleagues may raise concerns under our Whistleblowing Policy, or Grievance Policy. Colleagues also have access to a free, independent and confidential Employee Assistance Programme.
We maintain robust recruitment processes and our colleague appointment process contains all relevant requirements with regards to checking eligibility to work in the UK, employment reference checks, and any additional necessary checks such as DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service).
All our colleagues are issued with an employment contract which adheres to relevant UK employment legislation. Our job evaluation process helps to ensure that pay is fair and consistent.
Silva’s procurement activities operate in England. We aim to run our business to the highest standards and support the principles of the Act and the abolition of modern slavery and human trafficking.
Most of our suppliers and contractors are UK based companies but we know there will be some high-risk categories within our supply chain from construction, repair and maintenance and facilities management to some of the materials we purchase from overseas countries, for example, building materials and mobile technology. We follow The Public Contract Regulations 2015 which govern good practice in Procurement and seek to engage with reputable suppliers who comply with all relevant legislation, regulations and practices.
Supplier’s adherence to our values
Silva is committed in helping to tackle modern slavery and we strive to establish excellent working relationships with all in our supply chain to ensure they share and work towards the same values we hold. Silva is committed to taking decisive steps to be more effective in combatting slavery.
This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) Modern Slavery Act 2015 and was approved by the Silva board on 21 September 2023 and Board of the Abri Group Ltd on 26 July 2023.