Modern Slavery statement
Turner Bianca PLC commits to developing and adopting a proactive approach to tackling hidden labour exploitation.
We work with the Stronger Together Group, in accordance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
Hidden labour is exploitation of job applicants or workers by third party individuals or gangs other than the employer or labour provider; including rogue individuals working within these businesses but without the knowledge of management.
It includes forced labour and human trafficking for labour exploitation; payment for work-finding services and work-related exploitation such as forced use of accommodation.
It is understood that it is often well hidden by the perpetrators; with victims, if they that perceive of themselves as such, reluctant to come forward.
Turner Bianca Organisation
Turner Bianca has the UK head office which includes design, Sales and Technical staff.
We also currently hold and distribute stock from our warehousing facilities in the UK located in Oldham, Dukinfield and Middleton with over 300 staff in total.
Globally we have local offices in China, India, Pakistan, Portugal and Spain who, together with our UK office, control worldwide production, quality control, sales and distribution.
Our supply chain includes the above countries and also includes Turkey and Bangladesh; these countries are overseen by our European and Pakistan offices.
This amounts to over forty home textile production facilities worldwide across the business.
Our Ethical Policies
Our compliance policies with respect to ethical sourcing and ethical practice procedures are based on minimum labour standards outlined by the ETI Base Code and its principles of implementation. All of our suppliers are required to complete an annually renewed ethical audit, carried out by an independent third party in accordance with one of the internationally recognized standards such as SMETA, BSCI, SA 8000 or WRAP. Turner Bianca has been a SEDEX AB member since 2006 and we request that our suppliers acquire membership or membership to a similar ethical body.
TBG/We attend the SEDEX AGM every year and take an active part in discussions, exchanging ideas with retailers, NGOs, auditor groups and the SEDEX team to look for ways improving our systems and procedures in relation to ethical practice, including: compliance reporting: sustainability and the environment; anti-bribery; responsible cotton sourcing initiatives and modern slavery and human trafficking.
In addition to this we have attended several presentations and workshops given by our customers and NGOs such as Stronger Together, The Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority, and Stop the Traffik.
Communication and Risk management
The first phase in communicating the modern Slavery Act was initiated at our head office and was then cascaded to the board, HR, technical department and warehouse managers in the UK. These communications were followed up with training sessions involving all warehouse managers and staff and Stronger Together posters are displayed on the notice boards at all sites.
The second phase involved analyzing our recruitment process including any Labour Providers we use for our UK operations. Our stance on modern slavery and human trafficking was communicated to our LP/s and guidance from stronger together literature has now been incorporated into our interview process.
The main points communicated to our LP are outlined below:
- We expect your staff to have training and to have responsibility for developing and operating company procedures relevant to the MSA 2015.
- Accept that job finding fees are a business cost, and will not allow these to be paid by job applicants.
The Company will not use any individual or organisation to source and supply workers without confirming that workers are not being charged a work finding fee.
- Ensure that all staff responsible for directly recruiting workers (such as the Office, Design & Technical Managers) are aware of issues around third party labour exploitation and signs to look for and have signed appropriate Compliance Principles
- Ensure that labour sourcing, recruitment and worker placement processes are under the control of trusted and competent staff members.
- Adopt a proactive approach to reporting suspicions of hidden worker exploitation to the Gang Masters Licensing Authority and police.
- Provide information on tackling “Hidden Labour Exploitation” to our workforce through workplace posters and other training.
- Encourage workers to report cases of hidden third party labour exploitation, provide the means to do so and investigate and act on reports appropriately.
- Positively encourage and support employees and agency workers to report such exploitation which may be occurring within their communities.
The third phase incorporates our global network
The final phase is regarding our global supply chain.
Using data from such reporting bodies as the, “The Global Slavery Index” we have identified several countries with a high estimated prevalence of modern slavery by the proportion of their population and also with the highest absolute numbers of people in modern slavery. These countries are India Pakistan China and Bangladesh.
With the evolving crisis in Syria, we have also identified Turkey as a potential risk with 480,000 currently estimated to be victims of Modern slavery.
We have communicated the details of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 to our global hubs and also to each individual production unit in our supply chain.
Each mill is expected to sign and commit to a written declaration with respect to the Modern Slavery Act and is expected to follow this up with initiatives and training sessions similar to those we carried out in the UK.
All training literature presentations and posters have been forwarded to the mills.
We regularly carry out internal audits with respect to ethical and technical compliance using our local teams on the ground and visits by UK head office staff and the Modern Slavery Act will now become part of these inspections.
We will also continue to use the SMETA and BSCI audit processes to detect any evidence to modern slavery until other independent measuring tools become available.