Modern Slavery Statement for the financial year 2017/18


Introduction

The Francis Crick Institute (the "Crick") is a biomedical discovery institute dedicated to understanding the fundamental biology underlying health and disease. Its work is helping to understand why disease develops and to translate discoveries into new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, infections, and neurodegenerative diseases.

The Modern Slavery Act (the "Act") is intended to tackle conduct that constitutes the offences of slavery, servitude, forced or compulsory labour and human trafficking, or that would constitute an offence if the conduct took place in the UK.

This statement sets out the steps taken by the Crick, and the steps it proposes to take, to identify, prevent and mitigate the risks associated with modern slavery across the institute. It is made pursuant to the requirements of Part 6 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the "Act") and it constitutes the Crick's slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ended 31 March 2017.


The Crick

The Crick is a registered charity. An independent organisation, its founding partners are the Medical Research Council (MRC), Cancer Research UK, Wellcome, UCL (University College London), Imperial College London and King's College London.

Overall responsibility for setting the strategic direction of the institute lies with its Board. An Executive Management Team led by Sir Paul Nurse is responsible for leading the organisation and implementing its scientific vision and research strategy.

The Crick is committed to acting ethically, with integrity and transparency across its supply chain. We have, and continue to put in place effective systems and controls to safeguard against any form of modern slavery taking place within our procurement, supply chain or contract management operations.


High risk areas and spend categories

The Crick's workforce comprises highly educated professional occupations and the Crick does not directly employ staff in categories typically deemed to be vulnerable to modern slavery in the UK, such as unskilled domestic, agricultural and factory workers. The focus of the Crick is, therefore, on its supply chain and on ensuring there are appropriate safeguards in place in our relationships with contractors and suppliers.

Whilst we continue to work on categorisation and identification of risk, at present our supply chain can be broken down into five main areas:

  • Equipment
  • Laboratory consumables
  • IT equipment and services
  • Professional services
  • Building services

The principal categories which carry material risks are office supplies, laboratory consumables, ICT equipment and some estates services, such as cleaning and security services.


Mitigation of risk

In order to mitigate the risk posed to cleaning, catering and security staff we ensure that all supply chain partners commit to paying the London Living Wage to all staff working at the Crick, with the exception of apprentices. By ensuring our supply chain partners pay staff employed at the Crick the real Living Wage the Crick is taking a stand to ensure its workforce can earn a wage which is enough to live on.

The Crick is a member of the London Universities Purchasing Consortium (LUPC), which works with vendors in supply chains with higher risks for human rights violations such as IT and office supplies, to encourage more suppliers to commit to the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) Base Code. 

Many of the Crick's suppliers in these higher-risk categories have committed to the Base Code of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) which is founded on the conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and is an internationally recognised code of labour practice, requiring that:

1. employment is freely chosen;

2. freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining are respected;

3. working conditions are safe and hygienic; 

4. child labour shall not be used;

5. living wages are paid;

6. working hours are not excessive;  

7. no discrimination is practised; 

8. regular employment is provided; and

9. no harsh or inhumane treatment is allowed.


Policies

The Crick is committed to acquiring goods and services without causing any harm to others. As such, we remain committed to the UK Government's National Action Plan, updated in May 2016, to implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

We are also developing a number of internal policies to ensure that we are operating in an ethical and transparent manner. These include:

  1. Modern slavery - our statement sets out the Crick's stance on modern slavery and our continuous work to develop in this area.
  2. Recruitment policy - we operate a robust recruitment policy, including conducting eligibility to work in the UK checks for all employees to safeguard against human trafficking or individuals being forced to work against their will.
  3. Whistleblowing policy - we operate a whistleblowing policy so that all employees know that they can raise concerns about how colleagues are being treated, or practices within our business or supply chain, without fear of reprisals.
  4. Procurement - covers the acquisition of all goods and services from external sources, by the Crick and any of its subsidiaries, whether or not for financial consideration.


Procurement

Procurement at the Crick follows one of two paths, a collaborative route through purchasing consortia or an in-house tendering and contracting process. We engage actively with LUPC and other purchasing consortia.

Our in-house tendering and contracting process includes pre-qualification questions around compliance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and provides grounds for mandatory or discretionary exclusion from tendering and contracting process in the event of non-compliance by a potential supplier.

We are working to embed our Modern Slavery Statement in our tendering process and we are updating our standard terms and conditions to include clauses relating to modern slavery and human trafficking. 


Continuous review

As part of this reporting exercise in this and the coming years, the Crick expresses its commitment to better understanding its supply chains and working towards greater transparency and responsibility towards people working on them.

We have identified modern slavery awareness as a training need and aim to train the procurement function in addition to developing a wider awareness strategy across the institute.

We will also engage with HR and Communications to create more awareness around modern slavery.


Plans for the future

The Crick is committed to better understanding its supply chains and working towards greater transparency and responsibility towards people working within them.

We will continue to monitor and work with our service partners to encourage more of them to commit to managing the risks to humans in their supply chains.

 

This statement was approved and published by the Crick Board of Trustees and will continue to be reviewed at least annually. 

 

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Lord Browne of Madingley
Chairman
The Francis Crick Institute

Sir Paul Nurse
Director
The Francis Crick Institute