Modern slavery is a crime and a violation of fundamental human rights. It takes various forms, such as slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour and human trafficking, all of which have in common the deprivation of a person's liberty by another in order to exploit them for personal or commercial gain.
The following definitions are encompassed within the term ‘modern slavery’ for the purposes of the Modern Slavery Act 2015:
- ‘slavery’ is where ownership is exercised over a person
- ‘servitude’ involves the obligation to provide services imposed by coercion
- ‘forced or compulsory labour’ involves work or service extracted from any person under the menace of a penalty and for which the person has not offered themselves voluntarily
- ‘human trafficking’ concerns arranging or facilitating of another with a view to exploiting them
Humberside Fire Authority has a zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery and is committed to acting ethically and with integrity in all business dealings and relationships, and to implementing and enforcing effective systems and controls to ensure modern slavery is not taking place anywhere in its own business, or in any of its supply chains.
Organisational Structure and Supply Chains
Humberside Fire Authority is responsible for the Fire and Rescue Service across the four unitary authority areas of the East Riding of Yorkshire, Kingston upon Hull, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire, serving a population of almost one million people spread over more than 2,000 square miles.
Fire cover is provided 24-hours a day, every day of the year. All 999 calls are received by our Control room at Service Headquarters. Fire engines are then mobilised from 30 fire stations across the Service area. Each of the 47 front-line fire engines is equipped with state-of-the-art rescue equipment and there is also a fleet of specialist appliances, which are used during road traffic collisions, water rescues and other specialist rescues.
For further details of our structure please visit the About Us area of our website here.
HFA spends around £10 million pounds each year on a wide range of goods and services including but not limited to:
- Operation Equipment
- Professional Services
- IT hardware and software
- Cleaning Materials
- Office supplies
For the financial year 2022/23 orders were placed with 563 suppliers of which:
- 558 were located within the UK
- 5 were located within the EU
- 147 were located within the Humberside area
Policies in Relation to Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking
The Authority’s modern slavery and human trafficking statement reflects our commitment to acting ethically, vigilantly and with integrity in all business relationships; and implementing and enforcing systems and controls that seek to ensure slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in any areas of our business or supply chains.
The Authority will not support or deal with any business knowingly involved in slavery or human trafficking in any part of its operations.
Any instances of non-compliance will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and remedial action tailored appropriately.
The Authority’s corporate governance framework ensures that the Modern Slavery Act and its implications are embedded within its business practices in order to reduce potential risk.
The Authorities Constitution can be found here via our website here.
We have adopted the Ethical Principles and associated behaviours, under the Core Code of Ethics by National Fire Chiefs Council, Local Government Association and Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, which were launched in May 2021. These can be found here.
The following policies are available to view via our website here.
- Anti-Fraud and Corruption Policy
- Disclosure and Barring Service Policy
- Procurement Policy
- Recruitment and Selection Policy
- Safeguarding Policy
- Training Policy
- Whistleblowing Policy
Business Risk and Due Diligence
The three main areas of risk in relation to slavery and human trafficking within Humberside Fire Authority are:
- Supply Chain
- Prevention and Protection
The below highlight the work that has already taken place within each of the business areas highlighted above.
There are also new supply chain objectives for financial year 2023/2024 which demonstrates our ongoing commitment to mitigating any business risk relating to slavery and human trafficking.
Key highlights of the work we have undertaken so far in reducing the risk of any slavery and human trafficking within our supply chain are set out below:
The Fire Authority Constitution has been updated to include clear guidance about complying with Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking laws, statutes and regulations.
Our standard terms and conditions include a clause that the incumbent contractor must comply with the Modern Slavery Act 2015, when our terms and conditions are not used, compliance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015 will be a bespoke clause added to these individual contracts.
The Services Procurement Officer has completed the annual CIPS (Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply) Ethical Procurement module and test to maintain Chartered status.
Suppliers for contracts with a value in excess of £50,000 have all been requested to undertake the government MSAT (Modern Slavery Assessment Tool). This tool has been designed to help public sector organisations work in partnership with suppliers to improve protections and reduce the risk of exploitation of workers in their supply chains.
During financial year 2023/2024, we will deliver the following objectives which will further enhance the systems and controls that are already in place to ensure that modern slavery is not taking place within our supply chain:
- Ensure that further members of the procurement team undertake specific training related to modern slavery and human trafficking in supply chains.
- Introduce formal pre-procurement policy delivery guidance which incorporates Procurement Policy Note 02/23 and requires officers undertaking procurement to have regard for and assess Modern Slavery Risks at the outset of a project.
Key highlights of the work we have undertaken so far in reducing the risk of any slavery and human trafficking within our employment and recruitment procedures is set out below.
Potential employees must satisfy, where required by our Recruitment and Selection Policy, to undertake the following checks prior to being appointed:
- Proof of eligibility to work in the UK in accordance with the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996.
- Declaration of any unspent convictions.
- Reference checks
- Pre-employment Occupational Health Screening which includes drug and alcohol testing.
- Basic or Advanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check depending on role.
When sourcing temporary workers, the Service only uses reputable employment agencies from pre-approved Framework agreements.
Prevention and Protection
Key highlights of the work we have undertaken so far in reducing the risk of any slavery and human trafficking within our Prevention and Protection procedures is set out below.
- HFRS is a named representative of the Humber Modern Slavery Partnership (HMSP) Board Meetings and a Prevention Manager attends on a quarterly basis.
- HFRS attend local authority Modern Slavery meetings which occur quarterly.
- Staff from across Prevention and Protection have attended workshops and webinars to further develop understanding in this area.
The HFRS core skills framework reflects Modern Slavery as essential knowledge when delivering any Prevention and Protection activities.
Key highlights of the training we have delivered to our staff so far to increase skills and knowledge in identifying and tackling modern slavery and human trafficking while undertaking their duties include:
- Mandatory Modern Slavery awareness e-learning module is made available to all staff to raise greater awareness across the organisation, which includes relevant definitions, legislation, roles and responsibilities, procedures, that refers to both modern slavery and human trafficking, and educate individuals how to report concerns. This training directs staff to reporting procedures in line with the HFRS safeguarding policy, position statement and policy delivery guidance. It has been endorsed by the HMSP. Further safeguarding training (including refresher training) is available depending on the individual’s role.
- This training aims to develop knowledge of how to spot the signs and indicators of exploitation, provide information and learning on what to do when a member of staff comes into contact with a potential victim and how to raise concerns with a First Responder Organisation.
- Procurement staff have undertaken the CIPS Ethics learning and assessment. The Ethical Procurement and Supply eLearning Programme and Test have been refreshed and adapted. Developed for all levels of procurement professionals, the programme and test enable individuals and organisations to hone their skills and knowledge, and ultimately to demonstrate their commitment to ethical procurement and sustainable supply chains.
Performance Targets 2023/24
100% of staff have completed the mandatory Modern Slavery awareness e-learning module.
Four members of the Corporate Finance and Procurement Team to complete specific Modern Slavery and CSR awareness training via CIPS or the Government
Formal Modern Slavery Risk Assessment of all tendered contracts with a value in excess of £50,000.
This statement is made under Section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. It constitutes Humberside Fire & Rescue Authority’s Modern Slavery Statement for the financial year ending 31 March 2024.
Download a the above as a document here: