Modern Slavery Act Transparency Statement 2024

Modern Slavery Act Transparency Statement

Structure, supply chains and modern slavery

Introduction and organisation structure

Oak Furnitureland is one of the UK’s largest furniture retailers, with 69 showrooms across the UK, in addition to an ecommerce website. To support our operations, we have a major distribution centre located in Swindon, and other smaller distribution hubs across the UK.

Our brand has been built on quality and authenticity, with honesty, integrity and transparency being woven into all that we do. As such, we operate a zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery.

Modern Slavery is defined by the UK Government as the recruitment, movement, harbouring or receiving of children, women or men through the use of force, coercion, abuse of vulnerability, deception or other means for the purpose of exploitation.

The use of slave or trafficked labour is completely unacceptable. We recognise the responsibility that we, along with our suppliers, have to prevent it and we are working hard to ensure this criminal activity and violation of human rights is eradicated.

We absolutely will not condone modern day slavery in any part of our operations. This includes our supply chain, and we will take all appropriate actions within our power to help assist the abolition of modern day slavery across the globe.

Policies on modern slavery and human trafficking

We have developed a series of steps that help us to mitigate the risks of slavery or human trafficking within our own business and across our supplier base, built on a transparent approach, which we have detailed further below.

We are members of Sedex, a world leader in responsible sourcing, and through this we have access to its platform for ethical supply chain data exchange to further help us operate ethically, source responsibly and identify any potential issues or non-compliances in our supply chain.

Across all our UK and global supply chain operations we have implemented a Code of Conduct, 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, which is internationally recognised as the benchmark standard for ethical assurance. All of our suppliers are required to commit to working with us towards our Code of Conduct.

Supply chain risk assessment and due diligence

Through our Sedex membership, we’re able to map our tier one supply chain to give us visibility of all sites where our products are made.

Through Sedex’s risk assessment tool, we are able to use pre-screen reports to help us identify any potential risks. All of our suppliers are then required to complete a Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ), which details specific operational activities associated with modern slavery risks. Each supplier is then awarded a Sedex risk score, which combines trusted data on country and sector risks with information about our suppliers’ individual profiles.

Following this, we conduct ethical audits and site visits to gain first-hand visibility of working conditions and the welfare of workers across our supply chain. We adhere to Sedex’s audit methodology, SMETA, which is the most widely used social auditing methodology across the globe.

We are pleased to have appointed a new ESG Compliance Coordinator in our Vietnam office. Our ESG Compliance Coordinator will play an instrumental role in working with our suppliers to uphold our compliance requirements. The creation of this new position within our organisation will enable us to work even more closely with our suppliers operating in Asia to ensure compliance, and maintain ethical, social and environmental standards and follow up any risks that may have been identified as part of our due diligence process.

We take a robust approach to compliance and where non-conformances are found, suppliers are required to develop and submit a corrective action plan (CAP) detailing agreed remediation measures. Violations of our code of conduct directly impact a supplier’s grade and could potentially jeopardise their status as one of our approved suppliers.

Supply chain - Merchandise suppliers

Our supply chain currently consists of factories in the following countries:

Country Count of factories
China 20
Vietnam 15
India 1
UK 13
Italy 1
North Macedonia 1
Turkey 1
Grand total: 52

Data as of December 2023

This year, we have conducted on-site audits for 15 of our largest suppliers.

Over this past financial year, we have achieved a 40% increase in the number of suppliers deemed ‘Compliant’, by working with them to reduce non-conformances found during our wider ESG audits.

Supply chain - Our plan moving forwards

Now that we have fully assessed our merchandise supply chain, we will focus on working to reduce non-conformances amongst higher risk suppliers in our non-merchandise supply chain.

At this stage we can categorically state that we have a good understanding of all the companies working in our extended global supply chain and of the inherent risks that exist. Having identified the risks and the issues, we are now in the process of addressing these and will further report on our progress within the next 12 months (December 2024).

Measuring effectiveness

Our commitment to a no-tolerance policy to modern slavery and human rights abuse is an always-on process.

Through our Sedex membership, our SMETA audit reports include root-cause analysis of any issues that may arise and Corrective Action Plans (CAP) to help resolve non-compliances. We’re then able to work directly with suppliers to action changes and resolve any issues, which are then verified by auditors. We closely monitor and track supplier progress.

We refuse to allow complacency and will continue to assess performance and identify areas that we need to improve.

Training for staff

We have updated the terms and conditions we have with our major suppliers ensuring compliance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015. This includes a requirement 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 continue to work 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 roles.

Through our Sedex membership, we have access to its e-Learning and training programmes on labour standards and prevention of forced labour, which will form part of our colleague training in the year ahead.


This Modern Slavery Statement affirms our unwavering commitment to operating with integrity and underpins our rigorous approach to upholding ethical and social values, whilst achieving a positive working relationship, transparency, and ultimately, improvement across our supply chain.

We recognise our approach to modern slavery must be dynamic and continue to develop and expand in order to adapt to emerging humanitarian challenges. Therefore, we will strive to forge stronger partnerships with our suppliers, as well as seeking to collaborate with advocacy groups alongside other brands and retailers, to identify and tackle the risks of modern slavery.

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 Fisher.

December 2023


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