Modern Slavery Act Statement

Modern Slavery Act Statement

Our Business

Oak Furnitureland is the UK’s largest retailer of hardwood furniture with 98 stores across the UK. To support our UK operations, we have major distribution centres located in Swindon and St Helens, and other smaller distribution hubs across the UK.

Any use of slave or trafficked labour is completely unacceptable to our company. We take these issues very seriously and we are fully supportive of all measures to help eradicate this criminal activity.

Governance and Responsibility

The Chief Executive, reporting to the Board of Directors, has overall responsibility for the implementation of this policy however the Chief Sourcing Officer will be responsible for the day to day management.

Heads of Departments are also responsible for ensuring those reporting to them understand and comply with the policy, in particular our no tolerance approach across our whole supply chain.

Supply Chain Overview

We source the majority of our furniture directly from manufacturers based in the UK, China, Vietnam and India, these are our Tier 1 suppliers.

Our Tier 1 suppliers source timber and raw materials from their suppliers based in the USA, Europe, China, Vietnam and India. These include forest owners, timber processors, textile mills and leather tanneries who are our Tier 2 and 3 suppliers.

Policy

At Oak Furnitureland we recognise the responsibility we, along with our suppliers, have to operate in an ethical manner. As part of this responsibility, we acknowledge the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and operate a zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery.

We are not willing to tolerate or condone modern day slavery in any part of our operations including our supply chain and will take all appropriate actions to assist the abolition of modern day slavery.

We are working hard to ensure that there is sufficient transparency both within our own organisation and also within our supplier base and we have developed a series of steps to mitigate the risks of slavery or human trafficking within the business which are detailed below.

In relation to our UK operations and global supply chain we have implemented a code of conduct policy which applies to all persons working for us or on our behalf, including but not limited to suppliers, agency workers, seconded workers, volunteers, interns, agents, contractors, external consultants, third- party representatives and business partners. This policy is based on the Ethical Trading Initiative (‘ETI’) base code, but with a strengthened section on modern slavery.

The Code of Conduct Policy Document is attached at Appendix A.

Raising awareness & training

We are in the process of updating the terms and conditions we have with our major suppliers in order to include compliance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015. This includes a request that our suppliers adhere to our Code of Conduct at all times and operate a workplace that respects workers’ basic human and legal rights.

Our overseas teams are working with all our immediate overseas suppliers to ensure they conduct their business with the same commitment to ethical business practices as we do. Our internal Heads of Department have extensive experience of working with factories to assess and improve adherence to quality and ethical standards. They regularly visit our major overseas suppliers and working to improve human rights issues forms part of their factory management role.

We have several internal initiatives we are working on to raise awareness across our business both in the UK and overseas and hope to roll out this year.

Risk assessment & due diligence

We have identified approximately 200 suppliers falling into two separate categories:

A. Suppliers of products
B. Suppliers of services or goods that are not for resale

Having identified this list of suppliers we engaged the services of an expert supply chain transparency company www.verisio.com who are now assisting us with the following actions:

  1. Categorise the suppliers into High, Medium and Low risk based on product/ services provided and locations. We referenced the commonly available UN data to determine generic risk.
  2. Create a robust and wide-ranging online Self Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) that is being sent to each one of our Tier 1 suppliers.
  3. Review and risk assess the replies from these SAQs by way of desktop audits to give us further intelligence regarding potential issues that may require more in-depth investigation.
  4. Determine any suppliers where more proactive site visits may be required to satisfy ourselves that no potential issues of modern slavery or labour abuse exist. Should this be required, we will engage the services of professional social compliance auditors from one of the member organisations of www.theapsca.org
  5. Engage proactively with those suppliers that have lower risks but nevertheless must be encouraged to improve ethical labour non-compliances found during the above process.
  6. Report and publish results of the above actions in the Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement for the Year 2021.
Assessment of effectiveness

We recognise that our commitment to a no-tolerance policy to modern slavery and human rights abuse is an ongoing process and therefore we will continue to assess performance and, as with all other areas of our business, we will identify areas in which we need to improve.

This policy statement will be reviewed and published annually. It has been approved by our Board of Directors and signed on their behalf by our Chief Executive Officer.

Alex sig thin

Alex Fisher
Chief Executive Officer, Oak Furnitureland Group Ltd

March 2020

Appendix A: Oak Furnitureland Code of Conduct Policy