Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement

Introduction

This statement is made pursuant to Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. It relates to the financial year 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020. This statement covers the activities of The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals and its three wholly-owned subsidiaries PDSA Trading Limited, PDSA Property Services Limited, and PDSA PetAid Enterprises Limited.

This statement sets out PDSA’s commitment to identifying, reducing and eliminating slavery and human trafficking within its organisation and its supply chains.

We acknowledge our responsibility to comply with all principles of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

 

Structure and Supply Chains

We are the UK’s leading veterinary charity. Every year, the dedicated teams at our 48 Pet Hospitals work tirelessly to provide 2.7 million veterinary treatments. This helps over 470,000 much-loved pets. Across all of PDSA’s services, a total of 300,000 people have been supported.

PDSA was founded in 1917 by Maria Dickin with the aim of improving the welfare of pets and alleviating poverty. Throughout the past 100-plus years, we have delivered veterinary support to those in need, as well as providing preventive and educational services.

We have over 1,900 employed staff and around 3,300 people volunteer their time to PDSA every year.

We have a variety of supply chains that provide goods and services to support the delivery of our frontline services as well as enabling internal functions to deliver services within the organisation. The vast majority of our suppliers and contractors are based in the UK or the EU. We acknowledge that there may be modern slavery occurring in our supply chains that we are not aware of and we are committed to continuously improving our processes and procedures to identify, reduce and eliminate this wherever possible.

 

Policies

PDSA has an Ethical Statement in place that covers a number of wider issues. It is shared with our contractors and they are required to follow it as part of our contracting process. This will be reviewed and updated in 2021.

We have a number of policies that help us to reduce the risks that modern slavery may be part of our own organisation; these include policies covering recruitment, grievances, harassment and bullying, whistleblowing and safeguarding.

 

Due Diligence Processes

Our Contracts & Procurement Team provide support and guidance to the organisation in relation to procurement activities. As such, our Supplier Questionnaire contains questions relating to the Modern Slavery Act and our New Supplier Request Form requires a statement to be confirmed that due diligence has been carried out in relation to modern slavery. When negotiating contracts we include clauses relating to modern slavery and PDSA’s Ethical Statement. Any Suppliers that our employees identify that may be at risk of having modern slavery or human trafficking in their supply chains are flagged to the Modern Slavery project group for review and appropriate action taken.

 

Modern Slavery Project Group

We recognise that there is always more that we can be doing as an organisation to minimise the risk of modern slavery occurring in our supply chains.

In order to further develop our approach to modern slavery a Project Group has been established by the Executive Leadership Team. This Group is sponsored by the Director of People and led by the Contracts & Procurement Manager.

The Project Group has developed our approach across a number of areas including supply chain risk identification, risk categorisation, auditing methodology, and action plans. The Project Group includes representatives from various disciplines including veterinary services, marketing, corporate partnerships, HR, internal audit and buying.

So far the Project Group has:

  • Developed an audit methodology to identify suppliers at risk of modern slavery in their supply chains including:
    • Regular scheduled reviews
    • Assessment and categorisation of suppliers using a Risk Matrix, and
    • Agreeing appropriate action in line with the level of assigned risk, which may include the use of a Modern Slavery Questionnaire, Remedial Plan and / or action being taken to remove them from our approved supplier list.
  • Reviewed our current contracts and ensured they all contain relevant clauses in relation to modern slavery, where these need strengthening we will liaise with suppliers to do so, and
  • Begun to liaise with current suppliers to understand their approaches to modern slavery.

During 2021, we will:

  • Implement the audit methodology on supply chains potentially at risk of modern slavery
  • Improve the information we provide to our people on modern slavery
  • Review the new supplier set-up process to further improve modern slavery checks, and
  • Review our Ethical Statement to capture our stance on modern slavery and human trafficking.

 

Our Commitment

We recognise the impact that our procurement and purchasing activities, along with our corporate partnerships, can have on reducing modern slavery in the UK and around the world. We are committed to not only challenging ourselves to do better but also our suppliers, contractors and partners.

This Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement was approved by the Board of Trustees at its meeting on 24 March 2021.

John Smith, Chair, and Jan McLoughlin, Director General, signatures

Page last updated: 29 March 2021