Our Modern Slavery Transparency Statement May 2016
This statement sets out the steps we have taken during the last financial year to ensure that Modern Slavery is not taking place in any of our supply chains or any part of our business. It is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (MSA).
Post Office is the UK’s largest retail network and the largest financial services chain in the UK with more branches than all of the UK’s banks and building societies put together. We have provided services for more than 370 years and currently supply more than 170 products and services (mails & retail; financial services; governments services; and telephony) from a Network of more than 11,500 Post Office branches nationwide.
Post Office directly manages currently over 300 of the Network branches. The remainder of the branches are managed on an agency basis by Postmasters and multiple partners.
Our supply chains
We currently operate throughout the UK, however our supply chains connect with suppliers with a global reach.
Our banking services are provided through a joint venture with the Bank of Ireland (BoI).
Postmasters can operate one or more branches. As agents they have control on how they run their branches on a day-to-day basis. All those working in an agency Post Office branch are employees of the Postmaster.
A large proportion of the agency part of our network is run by multiple partners.
In our directly-managed branch network, we work closely with the Communications Workers Union (CWU) and Unite (CMA) Communications Managers Association.
Third Party Suppliers/Procurement
We also procure products and services from a wide range of national and international businesses.
Responsibility and due diligence
Responsibility for our Modern Slavery initiatives currently resides with a steering group which was appointed in January 2016. It is tasked with the development of a project plan to carry out due diligence and implement change. Our ongoing work involves a risk analysis of our core business and its related supply chains.
Where are the risks of modern slavery at Post Office/POMS?
To date we have not identified any direct relationship with an individual or company registered in a high risk country. The due diligence that we have undertaken so far indicates that there could be a risk of non-compliance within our agency network because there are a large number of people employed by Postmasters (including multiple partners) but who are not employees of Post Office or POMS. They work directly for the Postmasters (including multiple partners). We will be taking action to address this risk (see below).
What we have done so far
- Our Whistleblowing Policy has been updated to include references to concerns about Modern Slavery
- We have adapted the Post Office recruitment policy to address MSA requirements.
- We conducted an assessment of the Post Office procurement process to ensure it aligns with the MSA.
As part of this process we conducted a review of the criteria used by Post Office to evaluate whether suppliers meet Post Office’s minimum tendering requirements.
Our work on Modern Slavery continues and we intend to introduce the following changes in the near future.
- Updating Postmaster's selection and appointment process to address MSA requirements.
- Amending our standard form procurement contracts.
- Developing a communication and training plan to ensure our suppliers, staff and agents are aware of Post Office’s obligations in relation to Modern Slaver and informing them about the Modern Slavery Helpline.
We currently operate the following policies that describe our approach to Modern Slavery:
- Code of Business Standards
- Whistleblowing Policy
If you have any concerns about the issues raised in this statement or if you think you have identified signs of Modern Slavery then please either contact us or call the Government’s Modern Slavery Helpline on 0800 0121 700.