This statement has been published by Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation Limited (“Foundation”) in accordance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015. It sets out the progress made by the Foundation during the year ending 30 June 2020 to prevent modern slavery and human trafficking in its business and supply chains. We have a wide range of suppliers and commercial partners who operate in different industries and territories throughout the world.
WHAT IS MODERN SLAVERY?
Modern Slavery is a crime and a violation of fundamental human rights. Modern Slavery can take many forms including slavery, servitude, forced or compulsory labour and human trafficking. The underlying principle is the exploitation of a person or the coercion of a person to work against their will for the benefit of another.
OUR APPROACH TO MODERN DAY SLAVERY
As a Foundation we recognise the importance of maintaining vigilance to identify and address issues associated with Modern Slavery of any kind in our supply chains. We remain committed to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business dealings and relationships and to implementing and enforcing effective systems and controls to ensure the same high standards from our contractors, suppliers and other business partners.
We continue to take a pragmatic approach to promote a zero tolerance of modern slavery in any form in our business or supply chains and prevent worker vulnerability by:
- working with key staff to raise awareness and communicate the importance of due diligence checks and placing responsibility on all departments to take appropriate steps to identify and mitigate modern slavery risks within the commercial lifecycle;
- working closely with suppliers and potential suppliers to ensure they understand the importance of modern slavery due diligence in the supply process. We have over the last year developed a Code of Conduct for Suppliers & Representatives which will be implemented from January 2021;
- including obligations on suppliers to comply with the Modern Slavery Act in our contractual agreements and terms of business and refusing to work with suppliers who cannot commit to meeting the standards we expect;
- having a clear framework of rules and behaviours and encourage the reporting of any concerns or breaches via our Whistleblowing Procedure so that they can be dealt with appropriately in accordance with our policies and procedures;
- having robust recruitment procedures in place supported and communicated by the Recruitment and Selection Policy and conducting eligibility to work in the UK checks before any appointment commences within the Foundation. In addition, we use a preferred supplier list to source temporary workers;
- having a Safeguarding Team in place. Designated Safeguard Officers are accessible for individuals and staff to raise any safeguarding concerns they have which are then reported directly to the Head of Safeguarding. A formal reporting procedure is in place. The Safeguarding Team work closely with the HR Department and in partnership with statutory agencies, local authorities and the football governing bodies;
- conducting annual reviews, updates and communication of our Equal Opportunities Policy, Safeguarding Policy, Whistle Blowing Policy, Bullying & Harassment Policy and Equality and Diversity Statement of Commitment;
- committing to ongoing training promoting the eradication of discrimination within the Foundation and also within the region by using our elevated profile and status within the local community via Foundation initiatives supported and promoted by the Middlesbrough Football Club;
- proactively promoting equal opportunities by treating people fairly and with respect; by recognising inequalities exist; by taking steps to address them; and by providing access and opportunities for all;
- continuing to consult and engage with key staff, best placed to advise on our supply chains, to conduct risk assessments to identify areas within our businesses most at risk, and to develop policies and procedures that are practical and effective in eliminating identified risks.
The impact of COVID-19 pandemic during 2020 was felt by all and the effects of financial hardship due to businesses struggling and people losing their jobs or reducing hours, mental health triggers, uncertainty and loneliness cannot be underestimated.
The impact of these additional pressures on vulnerable persons must not be overlooked. We understand that desperate times can lead to desperate measures, so we acted, where we could, to support the local community during these difficult and uncertain times.
MFC Foundation and MFC, supported by furloughed staff, worked tireless to roll out initiatives to support vulnerable members of the local community including the food parcel campaign and an initiative to contact elderly members of the community to prevent loneliness and feelings of isolation.
We continue as a Foundation to assess the effectiveness of our approach to Modern Slavery and to ensure ongoing improvement.
This statement is made pursuant to section 54 Modern Slavery Act 2015 and sets out the steps taken by the Foundation to prevent Modern Slavery and human trafficking in our businesses and supply chains.
This statement was approved by the Board of Trustees of Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation Limited on January 28 2021.