UnitedLex is committed to the very highest standards of professionalism, legal compliance, ethics, and integrity in the conduct of our business. This includes engaging with our suppliers to ensure that they share our high standards.
As required by the United Kingdom’s Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the “Act”), this statement describes the steps which UnitedLex has taken during the financial year ended 30 April 2018 and is implementing in the current financial year to ensure that slavery and human trafficking are not taking place in any of our supply chains, or in any part of our own business.
Supply Chain Relationships
Our key suppliers are the businesses which help us to run our premises, such as our catering, cleaning, and security providers, or who supply us with the technology we need to deliver our services to our clients. We seek to develop long-term relationships with these first-tier suppliers and we avoid making demands of our suppliers that might lead to them violating human rights. All suppliers are screened prior to engagement for compliance with applicable law and regulation and expected to adhere to UnitedLex’s written policies and practices.
Our commitment to fair employment practices in relation to our own employees is embodied in our Vendor Management Policy and addressed in additional detail in our written policies and practices. This provides information about how we approach our day-to-day activities and the principles in it are covered in inductions for new staff and reinforced through training. We endeavour to embed these standards in everything we do.
We expect our suppliers to have fair employment practices too, and as part of our Vendor Management Policy, we evaluate all third-party supplier’s legal, regulatory, and compliance controls prior to entering an agreement. This encourages our suppliers to conduct their businesses ethically. A supplier’s compliance with these standards is an important factor in us deciding whether to form, continue or renew a relationship with them. Any supplier breach of those standards may result in us terminating our arrangements with the supplier.
As well as our own offices, we have close working relationships with various commercial partners across the world. Where we engage with those partners on behalf of a client (for example, as our subcontractor), we generally rely on our knowledge of the other organisation, their business, and professional reputation before proceeding. In some cases, we may ask that partner to sign up to contractual terms that include appropriate commitments to legally compliant, ethical and professional standards.
We offer both live and recorded training programmes for all staff to educate staff regarding our legal and ethical obligations and require all employees to review and agree to our code of conduct prior to beginning employment. In the current fiscal year, we have added vendor screening protocol designed to mitigate risks within supply chains, raise awareness of the issues, increase scrutiny, and inform key employees of the Act.
We try to identify risks to workers in our supply chain, by regularly refreshing the due diligence we carry out on our key suppliers before we engage them and through the ongoing supplier management processes we have in place.
When selecting our suppliers, price is not our only driver. We are committed to buying quality products and services from ethical suppliers and part of measuring this involves assessing the approach a potential supplier takes to its people and the workers in its own supply chain.
We will require regular confirmation from our suppliers that they are meeting or exceeding the quality standards necessary for us to ensure we provide our clients premium quality services meeting the highest ethical standards, including confirming our suppliers' approach to slavery and human trafficking. In addition, many of our contracts contain a right to audit or supervise work performed.
We encourage employees at every level to take an active role in our compliance with our legal and ethical obligations and encourage the prompt reporting of suspected unethical or illegal behaviour, as well as violations to our written policies and practices.