Modern Slavery Act statement

Introduction

This 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 30 June 2023.

Our Business Organisation structure

CVS Group is one of the UK’s leading veterinary providers. 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 latest Annual Report available on our website.

CVS Group’s head office is located in the UK and currently operates in the UK, Australia, Netherlands and Republic of Ireland, with over 8,800 personnel, including c.2,300 veterinary surgeons and c.3,300 nurses.

Our approach to modern slavery:

CVS adopts a strict zero tolerance approach to any form of modern slavery and human trafficking. We endeavour to always act ethically and with integrity in all our business decisions and we expect our suppliers to conduct their business in the same manner.

As the CVS Group continues to grow and our supply chains becomes more complex, our duty to ensure that we are sourcing products ethically and in compliance with the Modern Slavery Act increases. As part of our commitment to achieving this, we have created a Modern Slavery Working Group. This group will continue to monitor where CVS is in terms of compliance with the Modern Slavery Act and seek further enhancements to our provision.

Our due diligence process for identifying slavery and human trafficking:

We have this year introduced an enhanced Procurement Policy which sets out our principles, including that we will always take into account the ethical and social impacts of the goods and services which we purchase.

As part of this we have introduced a Supplier Due Diligence Questionnaire which requires relevant businesses to supply their own anti-slavery and human trafficking policy and where suppliers operate in multiple countries and/or recruit workers from overseas we require that they complete a ‘Supplier Labour Force Questionnaire’ which prompts a detailed response on all areas of slavery and human trafficking risk.

These actions build on our processes to identify and mitigate modern slavery risks via:

  • The maintenance of long-standing relationships with reputable
  • Prioritising suppliers that have a point of contact within the UK so that they are legally bound by the Modern Slavery Act.
  • Where entities in our supply chain operate with a turnover greater than £36 million, we expect them to at the very least have adopted a ‘one-up’ due diligence on the next link in the Unfortunately, it is not viable for CVS to have a direct relationship with all links in the chain, but we actively encourage and expect transparency where possible.
  • Our centralised HR function ensures that all our employees receive remuneration appropriately and in compliance with their written The department has salary review guidelines as well as appropriate and clear Right to Work in the UK and other general HR policies.
  • CVS actively encourages whistleblowing and the reporting of concerns, whether anonymously or identifiable. This provides CVS with the opportunity to fully investigate matters and where possible to work with people who have raised concerns to ensure procedures are implemented to prevent further breaches of our expected standards. We also ensure protection is in place to all whistle-blowers in an effort to induce and facilitate further reporting and compliance.
  • Our Group Human Resources Director and Group Procurement Director oversee our Anti- Slavery procedures and the implementation of any appropriate policies. They are jointly responsible for reviewing the effectiveness and implementing of amendments where

Our suppliers’ obligations:

We have implemented a Supplier Code of Conduct this year, which sets out our expectations and requirements of all our suppliers. This includes a summary of the minimum levels of Workers Rights which our suppliers should adhere to; the principle of a reasonable wage; and commitments to fair working hours and avoiding forced labour. It also sets out our expectation that suppliers have reliable and sufficient safeguards to ensure modern slavery is identified and stopped when discovered either internally or externally in supply chains.

Training

In order to conduct business in line with our duties and ethics, CVS continues to develop appropriate training on modern slavery and human trafficking. This will ensure that CVS employees become more experienced in spotting and identifying any cause for concerns and risks of human trafficking and modern slavery.

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 19 October 2023.

Richard Fairman
Chief Executive Officer
19 October 2023