This statement sets out Peoples actions to understand all potential modern slavery risks related to its business and to put in place steps that are aimed at ensuring that there is no slavery or human trafficking in its own business or its supply chains. This statement relates to actions and activities during the financial year.
As part of the Automotive Industry, Peoples recognises that it has a responsibility to take a robust approach to slavery and human trafficking. Peoples is absolutely committed to preventing slavery and human trafficking in its corporate activities, and to ensuring that its supply chains are free from slavery and human trafficking.
Peoples are Motor Dealers who provide all motor related services from six locations in the UK. They have been trading since 1983. Peoples deal exclusively in the United Kingdom and have circa 400 employees. The Group retails Ford Cars, Ford Commercial vehicles and non-Ford cars. Peoples have a strong relationship with Ford Motor Company who are a US Company with the highest standards.
The functions within our dealerships include:
· The sale of new and used vehicles, including commercial vehicles
· Arrangement of finance to enable customers to buy vehicles
· Providing vehicle aftercare including the servicing and repair of vehicles for both businesses and the general public.
· The sale and distribution of parts
We understand that the supply chains of companies in the Automotive Industry can be complex. Peoples consider its key suppliers to be those with whom it has a direct contractual relationship. This will therefore include, but not be limited to, vehicle manufacturers, cleaning contractors and marketing agencies.
Peoples is committed to ensuring all of our contractors, suppliers and other business partners are aware of and comply with the Act and will seek to encourage these suppliers to monitor compliance with the Act within their own supply chains.
Peoples prohibit all areas of its business and supply chains from using slavery and human trafficking of any kind. To protect against slavery, Peoples ensure all business activity complies with minimum wage legislation. Peoples also ensure that every employee has the right to work in the UK. Peoples have a robust recruitment process and only use reputable employment agencies. All agreements with employment agency suppliers require them to ensure that all prospective employees have the right to work in the UK before their introduction to Peoples. As part of our policy requirements, Peoples ensure suppliers comply with ethical recruitment principles. This includes prohibiting the use of misleading or fraudulent practices while offering employment, the use of recruitment fees, and the confiscating, destroying, concealing, and/or denying access to employee identity documents. Peoples promote the importance of the Modern Slavery Act to our suppliers and where there are instances of non-compliance, Peoples will investigate these as a priority and take action where required. Any non-compliance will be escalated to the board of Directors and dealt with as a priority.
Peoples have a number of avenues and policies which support compliance with the Act and allow employees to register complaints or concerns related to human rights and human trafficking. These include:
· Whistleblowing policy: Peoples encourage all its workers, and other business partners to report any concerns related to the direct activities, or the supply chains, of the organisation. This includes any circumstances that may give rise to an enhanced risk of slavery or human trafficking. Peoples whistleblowing procedure is designed to make it easy for workers to make disclosures, without fear of retaliation.
· Grievance policy: Peoples encourage all employees to raise any complaints or grievances that they may have in relation to the company or associated suppliers or service providers. A robust and impartial process will be followed to deal with any grievance raised.
· A dedicated email inbox and company hotline is available for all employees to use anonymously should they have any concerns.
· Employee code of conduct: Peoples code makes clear to employees the actions and behaviour expected of them when representing the organisation. Peoples strive to maintain the highest standards of employee conduct and ethical behaviour when operating and managing its supply chain.
· Recruitment Policy: Peoples have a Recruitment Policy which outlines the processes to follow when recruiting, including conducting Right to Work checks.
Modern slavery is complex and Peoples believe strongly that working together with others including our suppliers, service providers and our employees to identify risks and best practice will be the most effective way to bring change in this area. Peoples allow all employees the access and freedom to report any act that they feel may be an indication to Modern Slavery or Human Trafficking. These reports will always be investigated at an internal level and escalated to external parties should we find evidence to support this.
During the COVID-19 pandemic Peoples recognised there was an increased risk of Modern Slavery. A number of measures were undertaken to ensure safety and wellbeing during this time including: individual risk assessments for those most vulnerable, full site risk assessments, social distancing measures, increased Personal Protective equipment and to ensure our people were communicated to regarding our policies and wellbeing initiatives.
Peoples are at low risk of modern slavery due to the rigorous recruitment process and limited use of agency workers. However we recognise that our supply chain could have some high-risk areas. Therefore to address this, we collated a list of all our current suppliers and issued each with a letter which clearly outlined our standards and expectations in relation to the Modern Slavery Act. The contact details of our HR Manager were provided to all suppliers to encourage contact if they had any questions or concerns. To date no supplier concerns have been raised.
Peoples is committed to not knowingly supporting or doing business with any supplier involved in slavery or human trafficking and expects all of its suppliers to impose obligations on their own suppliers, in order to ensure compliance with the Act. Peoples will continue to review the effectiveness of the steps we have taken to ensure that there is no slavery or human trafficking in our supply chains and is committed to improving our practices to combat slavery and human trafficking.
Peoples will know the effectiveness of the steps that we are taking to ensure that slavery and/or human trafficking is not taking place within our business or supply chain if:
· No reports are received from employees, the public, or law enforcement agencies to indicate that modern slavery practices have been identified.
This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and has been approved by Peoples board of directors. This statement will be reviewed and updated annually. This statement covers the period during Peoples financial year ending 31 st July 2020. This statement covers the following entities; Peoples Limited SC080359; Peoples Ecosse SC176576; and Peoples Liverpool SC112752.
Group Financial Director
Last reviewed 9th October 2020