Modern Slavery Statement
This statement has been published in accordance with Section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. The information included in the statement refers to the financial year ending 31 December 2018.
We know that slavery, forced labour and human trafficking (Modern Slavery) is a growing problem that exists in every part of the global economy. As a labour provider, we have a responsibly to be alert to the risks in our business and take steps to ensure Modern Slavery is not occurring at any stage of our labour supply chain. Vine Care UK acknowledges its responsibilities in relation to tackling Modern Slavery and commits to complying with the provisions in the Modern Slavery Act 2015. We understand that this requires an on-going review of our internal practices in relation to both our labour force and supply chain.
Vine Care UK supplies labour and materials to vineyards across the south of England. In the financial year 2017/2018 we were responsible for vineyard management operations at 30 sites. Demand for labour is seasonal and therefore the majority of Vine Care employees work on a temporary basis, between 3-6 months per year.
Vine Care UK oversees the recruitment of all new and returning staff in Câmpulung, Romania, through its partner organization, Top UK Opportunities. The day to day running of Vine Care’s on-site operations takes place at Vine Care’s Head Office in Hove, England. Both Vine Care UK and Top UK Opportunities are licenced by the GLAA.
Vine Care UK considers that Modern Slavery encompasses:
- Human trafficking;
- Forced work, through mental or physical threat;
- Being owned or controlled by an employer through mental or physical abuse or the threat of abuse.
- Being dehumanised, treated as a commodity or bought or sold as property.
- Being physically constrained or to have restriction placed on freedom of movement.
Vine Care UK works to ensure that its employees are provided with decent working conditions. We value our workforce and want them to return to us each season, therefore we recognise the impact of working conditions on commitment and productivity. Added to this, our clients depend on us to provide them with well-organised and motivated teams who work to a high standard.
- All work must be voluntary, and not done under any threat of penalties or sanctions
- Workers must not pay any deposits for work, and employers – whether labour users or recruiters – must not keep original copies of identity documents.
- Indentured labour is prohibited, and workers must be free to leave work at any time, with all salary owed to be paid.
- Vine Care UK does not enter into business with any other organisation, in the United Kingdom or abroad, which knowingly supports, or is found to involve itself in slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour.
- No labour provided to Vine Care UK in the pursuance of the provision of its own services is obtained by means of slavery or human trafficking.
- Vine Care UK strictly adheres to the minimum standards required in relation to its responsibilities under relevant employment legislation in the UK.
Vine Care UK considers its main exposure to the risk of slavery and human trafficking to exist in its labour sourcing supply chain because of its reliance upon seasonal migrant workers carrying out low-skilled or unskilled tasks, a group that can be vulnerable to mistreatment by third parties.
In general, Vine Care considers its exposure to slavery/human trafficking to be relatively limited due to employees being directly recruited by Vine Care’s partner organisation, UK Top Opportunities, which is managed by Vine Care’s company directors rather than through a sub-contractor. Nonetheless, it has taken steps to ensure that such practices do not take place in its business, nor the business of any organisation that supplies goods and/or services to it.
In accordance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015, Vine Care UK has taken the following steps to ensure that Modern Slavery is not taking place:
- Action has been taken to identify and assess the potential risks in the supply chain.
- Key policies and employee briefing materials have been updated in order to embed a zero-tolerance policy towards Modern Slavery. On-site inductions now includes a session on the risks of Modern Slavery and how staff should report it.
- Confidential multilingual questionnaires have been issued to all employees checking whether they have been subject to coercion, exploitation, or fees.
- Literature has been distributed to all employees raising awareness about Modern Slavery and how to report it.
- Confirmation has been obtained from all suppliers that they understand and comply with the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and that they have adequate measures in place to do so.
This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes Vine Care UK’s Modern Slavery statement for the financial year ending 31 December 2018. It has been approved by the company’s directors, who will review and update it annually.
Paul Woodrow-Hill and Mihaela Chitu
Directors, UK Vine Care Ltd