Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Public Statement 2023 to 2024

This statement is made by Bishop Oak Limited (“we”, “us”, or “our”), in respect of our actions and activities during the financial year ending 31 December 2022, pursuant to section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the “Act”). This statement was approved by the board of directors of Bishop Oak Limited on 31 December 2022.

This is Our 1st Annual Anti-Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking statement.

Our organisation, our policies and our commitment

Bishop Oak Limited (Bishop Oak) is a contracting intermediary operating in all sectors, supplying temporary labour to its clients.

Bishop Oak has a zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery of any kind within our operations and supply chain.
Our positive contribution to the work of our clients is matched by our commitment to running our own operations responsibly. We are committed to ensuring that modern slavery, human trafficking, child labour and any other abuse of human rights have no place in or around our organisation.

In order to deliver on our commitment, Bishop Oak has policies in place which set out the conduct we expect of our company, all employees, partners, contractors and suppliers.

Our Anti-Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy, which applies to all our people and stakeholders, reinforces the responsibilities and standards expected within our business or in any of our supply chains with regard to complying with the Act.

In addition, as part of our ongoing commitment to combating modern slavery, we regularly review our policies, including, but not limited to, our Code of Conduct, and Whistleblowing Policy to ensure they comply with the Act.
Bishop Oak ensures that our policies are ingrained in both our operations and supply chain by taking significant steps to raise awareness of their requirements and engaging in detail with our staff and key suppliers. We communicate our expectations to employees and suppliers with regard to adherence to our policies in order to fulfil our principal objectives and responsibilities in relation to the Act.

At Bishop Oak UK, people are our most valuable resource at all levels of the business structure. In addition to ensuring that our employees and the employees of our contractors are paid fairly (and beyond the minimum wage), our employees are also entitled to additional benefits as part of our commitment to ensure that their health and welfare are fully supported both within and outside the workplace. Our benefits packages are competitive and geared towards supporting well-being as a priority.

Due Diligence processes, Risk assessment and Management

As a professional services organisation, we consider the risk of modern slavery existing within our business to be low. However, a proportion of the labour supplied by Bishop Oak could be identified as “at risk” based on being lower-paid workers.
Our software enables us to ensure that our employees are paid at least the National Minimum Wage/National Living Wage in force, as it has a built-in alert if any employees’ pay breaches the statutory rates.

Our Employees are always up to date with amended statutory rates and understand the importance of compliance in this area, as well as other areas relating to employment law.

Within our contractual agreements and compliance statements, it is our standard practice to ensure that there is no forced or compulsory human labour, human trafficking or any other form of exploitation in any part of their businesses or supply chains. In addition, our supplier onboarding process now includes updated Anti-Modern Slavery questions and language alongside our standard due diligence checks to ensure our suppliers are committed to complying with local labour standards and assess the suitability of suppliers that provide services to us.

Our Effectiveness on Modern Slavery

We understand that modern slavery is ever-changing and that our approach must continuously evolve to remain effective.

COVID-19
We recognise that the COVID-19 pandemic continued to present disruption and challenges to working conditions in profound ways during 2021. We continued to implement COVID-19 measures to ensure our offices remained safe and accessible for all employees.
Further, to ensure that Bishop Oak is fully prepared should such an eventuality occur again or worsen, we continue to have a contingency plan in place which is assessed and reviewed on a regular basis.
Lastly, Bishop Oak made available a wide range of resources to assist our employees in dealing with the challenges brought about by the pandemic.

Training

Bishop Oak strives to maintain the highest standards of employee conduct and ethical behaviour. This is reinforced through the various internal policies which our employees are required to adhere to, most of which are relevant to combating modern slavery.
In addition, Bishop Oak is committed to ensuring that all our people understand what modern slavery is, and the circumstances in which it may occur, are aware of modern slavery risk indicators and are equipped to identify instances of possible modern slavery and human trafficking. As part of this ongoing commitment, training on the Act’s requirements and the escalation of concerns (without fear of retaliation) are mandatory for all employees in accordance with our Anti-Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy.

In 2023 we rolled out our internal Anti-Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy along with our Anti-Modern Slavery Training. The training has been implemented to ensure that the issue of modern slavery is always at the forefront of our employees’ awareness, assist them in understanding how Modern Slavery might arise within the context of our business, inform them of the actions Bishop Oak has taken in order to reduce the risk of modern slavery taking place within the business and its supply chains.

We are also committed to arranging refresher training sessions on a regular basis going forward to ensure that such knowledge is kept current, and relevant and awareness is maintained.
The Anti-Modern Slavery training is part of the induction package for all new joiners to ensure that they are educated from the outset and that the proportion of our employee population trained progressively increases.

Code of Conduct and Code of Conduct training materials, which are expected to be rolled out in the very near future, to ensure that anti-modern slavery practices are given due emphasis throughout the Bishop Oak network.

Beyond our regulatory duties, Bishop Oak has an active interest in matters relating to the treatment (and sad mistreatment) of migrants and migrant populations, including trafficking.