At Oxford Instruments, we are committed to preventing acts of modern slavery and human trafficking from occurring within our business and supply chain. We have a zero-tolerance approach to all forms of modern slavery, including servitude, forced, bonded and compulsory labour, and human trafficking, and we expect our suppliers to adopt the same approach.
This statement is made in accordance with Section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the “Act”) and constitutes our anti-slavery and human trafficking statement covering the financial year commencing 01 April 2019 and ending 31 March 2020.
This statement was approved by the plc Board at its meeting on 7 July 2020 and is signed on behalf of the Board by the Group Chief Executive.
We are a provider of high technology products and services to the world’s leading industrial companies and scientific research communities who image, analyse, and manipulate materials down to the atomic and molecular level. Our key enabling technologies help underpin the shift to a greener economy, increased digital connectivity, advances in materials, discoveries in life science, and more productive manufacturing and healthcare.
We have discrete business groups operating internationally and we recognise the importance of the protection of human rights across our Group.
The entities in our Group which fall within the criteria defined in the Act are Oxford Instruments plc, Oxford Instruments Nanotechnology Tools Limited and Andor Technology Limited.
The Group has over 1,500 employees worldwide and operates in 16 countries.
Our policies on slavery and human trafficking
As part of our commitment to combatting modern slavery and human trafficking, we have developed and maintain internal policies and procedures to reinforce our approach. These documents are designed to be easy to use and are intended to assist our employees in their due diligence of suppliers. In addition, we have developed a global Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, which was published in June 2019, and sends a clear message to our employees, business partners, stakeholders and investors of our business principles and ethics.
Due diligence processes for slavery and human trafficking
We are committed to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business dealings and to putting in place effective systems and controls which aim to ensure modern slavery is not taking place anywhere in our own business or in our supply chains. As part of this commitment we focus on the welfare and safety of individuals at potential risk, undertake periodic due diligence reviews of our suppliers and, where appropriate, provide support and guidance to help suppliers to address any concerns that they might have in their own business and supply chain.
We take a risk-based approach and have developed our processes to create profiles of key and high-risk suppliers. Both new and existing key and high-risk suppliers are encouraged to adopt the same or similar standards to those contained within our policies and they are expected to hold their own suppliers to the same or similar standards.
Supplier adherence to our values
We operate our business in compliance with applicable laws and regulations and we expect our suppliers to do the same, including the laws against modern slavery. Our expectations are set out in our Code of Conduct for Representatives and Suppliers which is available via this link:
In addition, we endeavour to include a warranty provision within our purchase contracts with our suppliers, whereby suppliers are asked to warrant that in performing their contractual obligations they will ensure that they and their sub-contractors shall:
We believe in the importance of educating our employees on human rights issues and have launched bespoke training for relevant employees to help them to recognise the risks of modern slavery and human trafficking in our business and supply chains. Through this training, our employees are encouraged to use our procedures for reporting a business malpractice to raise any concerns they might have, which includes access to an independent whistleblowing service. To date, 100% of relevant employees have undertaken the training with a completion rate at the time of writing of 95%.
Our third-party whistleblowing hotline, Safecall, is a fully confidential and independent service which provides our employees with a process to raise concerns and disclose information related to suspected wrongdoing or dangers at work. This service is an added measure to ensure our compliance with all legal obligations and enhances our ability to address ethical concerns, including issues related to human rights.
During any visits with suppliers, employees are expected to escalate concerns of any type to management or via this whistleblowing hotline.
Our effectiveness in combating slavery and human trafficking
To date, we have not identified any suspected incidences of modern slavery in our supply chains.
We constantly strive to improve our systems and processes to root out modern slavery from our supply chain and within our business. To assist us in this, we have established a Corporate and Social Responsibility Forum that is currently assessing ways in which we can use technology to better undertake and audit supplier due diligence.
Chief Executive, Oxford Instruments plc