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Modern Slavery Policy

Modern Slavery Policy

  1. Commitment

The Merit statement on Human Trafficking and Slavery, in accordance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015 establishes our commitment to preventing slavery, servitude or other forced and compulsory labour as set out in Part 1, Sections 1-4 of the act. It is dedicated to conducting its business activities in accordance with the maximum legal and ethical standards. Modern Slavery is a serious violation of Human Rights and Merit Group is entirely dedicated to its eradication.

  1. Merit Group Statement on Slavery and Human Trafficking

Merit Group will not tolerate the holding of a person in slavery or servitude, require a person to perform compulsory labour or commit a Human Trafficking offence by arranging or facilitating the travel of a person with the view to that person being exploited in its business or supply chain. In addition it is wholly opposed to the use of debt bondage in either forced labour or human trafficking. Merit will not exploit any such person, in accordance with the meaning of exploitation set out in Part 1 Section 3 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

  1. Scope

Merit Group standards apply to all employees and upon interviewing any applicants its recruiters are required to sign a document setting out basic principles demonstrative of its commitment to preventing modern slavery. Such principles include, but are not limited to;

  • Not allowing applicants to complete registration documents on behalf of others
  • Notifying a manager when informed by an applicant or worker that they have paid money to be introduced to the company
  • Not allow an unauthorised agent or individual to introduce job applicants to the company
  • Notify a manager when suspecting an individual of introducing job applicants to the company for personal gain
  • Not force or coerce temporary workers to work against their will
  • Not threaten or subject workers to physical or mental mistreatment
  • Raise any knowledge or suspicions of illegal or dubious activities regarding agents, temporary workers or colleagues to a manager immediately

Outlining such principles enables employees to spot the signs of potential exploitation of workers.


  1. Gangmasters Licensing Authority

The Gangmasters Licensing Authority is a Non Departmental Public Body which works in partnership to protect vulnerable and exploited workers and is governed by the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004. The licensing scheme regulates businesses who provide workers to the fresh produce supply chain and horticulture industry to make sure they meet the employment standards required by law. Merit Group further exhibits its commitment to the prohibition of slavery, human trafficking and debt bondage as it is licensed by the Gangmasters Licensing Authority. The benefits of licensing are;

  • Workers receive the pay, benefits and conditions they are entitled to and are treated fairly
  • Industry standards are raised as labour providers are not undercut by those who pay less that the minimum wage or avoid tax.
  • Labour users can check their workers come from a legitimate provider and are informed if their labour provider’s license is revoked.
  • Consumers can be assured that their food has been picked and packed in an ethical environment. Illegal activities which lead to a loss of public revenue – income tax, VAT and NI – are reduced.

  1. Steps Merit Group have taken during the financial year to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in any part of its business or in any of its supply chains
  • The organisations structure, its business and its supply chains
  • Its policies in relation to human trafficking
  • Its due diligence processes in relation to slavery and human trafficking in its business and supply chains
  • The parts of its business and supply chains where there is a risk of slavery and human trafficking taking place and the steps it has taken to assess and manage that risk.
  • Its effectiveness in ensuring that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in its business or supply chains, measured against such performance indicators as it considers appropriate
  • The training about slavery and human trafficking available to its staff.