The Modern Slavery Act 2015 requires large companies with a turnover of over £36m, which supply goods or services, to publish information each financial year to reflect the steps taken to ensure there is no slavery or human trafficking in their business or supply chains. We are committed to this and agree we all have a responsibility to be alert to the risks of slavery and human trafficking, however large or small, in our business or in our supply chains.
Organisation aims and structure
Lewisham Homes is an enterprising, not-for-profit organisation, set up to improve housing in the London Borough of Lewisham. As well as managing 19,000 homes on behalf of Lewisham Council, we operate our own maintenance company, build new homes and find valuable ways to invest in the local community.
Our Executive Leadership team comprises the Chief Executive, Director of Finance and Technology, Director of Development, Director of Resident Services and Director of Property Services and Safety.
Our Chief Executive reports to the Lewisham Homes Board. The Board sets our strategic direction and uses its expertise to assist in guidance and decision making. The Board takes a close interest in and monitors performance, finance and service improvement data.
We employ nearly 600 staff with a head office in Catford, south-east London.
Our vision is to ‘create thriving communities and places people are proud to call home’; and is supported by our mission ‘to provide safe, quality homes, deliver efficient services and enhance life chances’. Our Corporate Plan sets out how this will be delivered by focusing on our five ambitions:
- · Landlord
- · Placemaker
- · Employer
- · Partner
- · Enterprise
consistently delivering an excellent and reliable resident experience building and investing in safe, attractive and sustainable homes and neighbourhoods
enable our staff to be the best they can be
working in partnership to improve quality of life and life chances
being an efficient, high performing business, maximising opportunities to deliver more
Due diligence processes for slavery and human trafficking
For Lewisham Homes
As an equal opportunities employer, we’re committed to creating and ensuring a non- discriminatory and respectful working environment for our staff. We want all our staff to feel confident that they can expose wrongdoing without any risk to themselves.
Our recruitment and people management processes are designed to ensure that all prospective employees are legally entitled to work in the UK.
We are committed to ensuring that there is no modern slavery or human trafficking in our supply chains or in any part of our business.
All recruitment is centralised to the People Services team and we use reputable employment agencies to source labour. We verify the practices of any new agency we are using.
We are an accredited London Living Wage employer, which is higher than the national minimum per hour for over 25s. We regularly review our terms of employment to ensure that they are fair, competitive and comply with relevant legislation.
Employees are provided with clear and transparent information about rates of pay, hours worked and legal deductions.
The following policies are available to all staff:
- · Code of conduct
- · Whistleblowing policy
- · Dignity at work
- · Recruitment and selection policy
- · Pay policy
- · Safeguarding policy
Our safeguarding and anti-tenancy fraud policies and procedures enable us to take appropriate action if slavery or human trafficking is identified within our homes by us or by our customers. There is information and a link on our website and staff intranet for concerns to be reported.
Staff who are in contact with our residents and service users are trained to identify any safeguarding issues, which includes signs of exploitation, and to comply with the referral process to ensure that incidents of this nature are reported. We have a dedicated member of staff who then makes referrals and works with relevant agencies such as Local Authority Social Services and the Police.
Our supply chains
Our supply chains include an extensive range of contracts with external suppliers involving the provision of a variety of goods and services. Our procurement activities take place in England and our contractors and suppliers are UK-based. We procure compliantly in accordance with The Public Contracts Regulations 2015 and follow the UK Government’s Procurement Policy Notes which provide guidance on best practice for public sector procurement.
It is the responsibility of Directors to ensure that procurement processes are robust and identify risks in relation to slavery and human trafficking.
Lewisham Homes is committed to ensuring that suppliers adhere to the highest standards and ethics. Relevant organisations are required to self-certify that they have complied with the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 at the supplier selection stage. Our contract management arrangements help us ensure our suppliers maintain the standards required.
Our policies are reviewed periodically to ensure that they reflect best practice and mitigate against risks.
To ensure a high level of understanding of the risks in our supply chains and our business, we regularly review our safeguarding and whistle-blowing policies to include reference to modern slavery issues. We refreshed our safeguarding training in June 2020 so all relevant staff are aware of requirements, how to identify issues and where to report these.
Monitoring and review
This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes our slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending 31 March 2021.
Ainsley Forbes Chair of Board