Modern Slavery Act statement
Introduction and statement from the Chief Executive
CVS Group plc takes its responsibilities very seriously with regard to the Modern Slavery Act 2015. This updated statement sets out the approach taken by the Company to understand all potential modern slavery risks related to its business and the actions undertaken to mitigate any such risks during the financial year ended 30th June 2018.
CVS Group is one of the leading veterinary services providers in the UK and owns in excess of 500 veterinary surgeries throughout the UK, the Netherlands and Republic of Ireland. CVS Group plc is the parent company of CVS (UK) Limited which in turn is the owner of a number of trading and non-trading subsidiary companies. Full details of all our subsidiary companies can be found in our Annual Report.
CVS has its head office in the UK and all of its trading premises are in the UK, the Netherlands and Republic of Ireland and engages over 6,000 employees.
At 26 April 2019, CVS operated from 505 veterinary surgeries (478 in the UK and 24 in the Netherlands and 3 in the Republic of Ireland), seven Crematoria, four Laboratories, two Buying Groups and an Online Retail and Pharmacy business which is housed in the same premises as the Company’s head office. Full details of our business activities for the year ending 30th June 2018 can be found in our Annual Report on our website.
Our policies on slavery and human trafficking
Our commitment is to act ethically and with integrity in all our business relationships and to implement and enforce effective systems and controls to ensure slavery and human trafficking is not taking place anywhere in our supply chains or in any part of the business. We are in the process of implementing appropriate policies to be adhered to by the Group as a whole.
Our target is always to ensure that there are no instances of modern slavery affecting the Company.
Due diligence processes for slavery and human trafficking
Our initiatives to identify and mitigate risk:
- Where possible, we have built long standing relationships with suppliers and made clear our expectations of business behaviour to them by issuing each with a detailed letter setting out our expectations in relation to the provisions of the Modern Slavery Act;
- With regard to national or international supply chains, our point of contact is preferably with a UK company or branch and going forward we will expect these agencies to have suitable anti-slavery and human trafficking policies and processes which must be produced to us on request prior to contracting with us. We expect each entity with a turnover of more than £36m in our supply chain to adopt a ‘one-up’ due diligence on the next link in the chain. It is not practical for us to have a direct relationship with all links in the chain.
- We have in place systems to encourage the reporting of concerns and the protection of whistle blowers which incorporates our policy on bribery and corruption.
- We have a centralised Human Resources function with protocols in place to ensure that all our employees are paid properly in accordance with the terms of their written employment contracts. The department has clear policies on Rights to Work in the UK, salary review guidelines and general HR policies appropriate for a company of our size.
- We have appointed a senior manager to introduce and to monitor our Anti-Slavery Policy who is accountable to the Board.
- Going forward we will endeavour to put steps in place to monitor the effectiveness of the actions taken by the company in the preceding year in tackling any potential slavery and human trafficking within our supply chain.
Supplier adherence to our values
We have zero tolerance to slavery and human trafficking. We expect all those in our supply chain and contractors to comply with our values. The Board of Directors and senior managers are responsible for compliance in their respective regions and departments and for their supplier relationships in relation to the monitoring and enforcement of our internal policies and values.
To ensure a high level of understanding of the risks of modern slavery and human trafficking in our supply chains and our business, we will provide training to relevant members of staff. Our above procedures will ensure that our zero tolerance to modern slavery is effective in ensuring it does not exist within the organisation.
This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes our Group’s Slavery and Human Trafficking statement for the current financial year. It was approved by the Board of Directors on 26 April 2019.
26 April 2019