Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement

This statement follows Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and is for the financial year ending March 2021. It applies to Gentoo Group, our subsidiaries, contractors and supply chains.

Our structure and business

Gentoo Group is the parent Gentoo Group Limited and its subsidiaries.

We are a housing association and own or manage more than 30,000 properties. We believe in putting people first so we can build great homes and create strong communities.

We are focused on delivering an outstanding service to our tenants and pride ourselves on inspiring people. We work with important partners and other housing associations to make a difference for our colleagues and tenants. We are one of the largest employers in Sunderland and landlords in the North East.

Gentoo Homes is a subsidiary of Gentoo Group Limited. Gentoo Homes are a profit-for-purpose business and the profit made is reinvested back into Gentoo.

Our policies in relation to slavery and human trafficking

Housing management policies

We do not tolerate human trafficking and slavery in our supply chains or any other part of our business.

Modern slavery is a form of abuse and includes:

  • slavery
  • human trafficking
  • forced labour
  • domestic servitude

We must deal with any form of modern slavery as a high priority.

Our safeguarding policies help staff to recognise such signs of abuse and how to report it.

Colleagues who visit tenants must:

  • remain vigilant
  • be aware of the potential signs of abuse
  • trained in how to report any concerns

We complete customer surveys to check:

  • the legal tenant and their household are living in the property
  • the property is not used for illegal purposes, like human trafficking and slavery

Employee policies

We recognise slavery and human trafficking may affect staff working in the business. We have HR policies and procedures to make sure staff are treated with dignity and respect. They are regularly audited to comply with employment legislation and prevent unethical working. We review our terms of conditions across the workplace and make sure all staff receive fair pay.

We make sure agencies and other bodies used for employment have procedures to prevent slavery and human trafficking.

Our staff, contractors and supplies must sign up to our Code of Conduct, which requires adherence to relevant legislation. This includes the Modern Slavery Act.

Our supply chains

We buy goods and services through a diverse supply chain, including:

  • property related services and materials, such as construction, maintenance and new home development
  • facilities management, such as cleaning services
  • Information Technology
  • recruitment agencies
  • office equipment and supplies

Supplier due diligence

We communicate our zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery with all suppliers and contractors. We will communicate with our suppliers throughout the contact to make sure they comply.

Our contract and supplier management processes address all aspects of a supplier’s due diligence, including Modern Day Slavery. This is reviewed once a year and is discussed in regular meetings.

We work with contractors who have a CHAS Premium Plus accreditation, which ensures that Modern Day Slavery has been assessed. We will discuss Modern Day Slavery throughout the duration of the contracts.

Effectiveness

We will review our contractors and address any areas of concern. If required, we will stop working with the supplier until we are satisfied with their commitment.

We will take the action against any suppliers who we have stopped working with. We will help suppliers get reinstated or they may be removed from the site and no further order received.

Training

Staff who visit tenants have received training that includes how to:

  • identify signs of modern slavery
  • report concerns

Training on slavery and human trafficking is included in our safeguarding training to all staff and is refreshed on a regular basis.

Staff who have a responsibility for supplier management also receive training.

Whistleblowing

We have a Whistleblowing Policy (PDF, 294KB) for staff to report any concerns and remain confidential.

We encourage our staff, suppliers and contractors to use the whistleblowing process to report any incidents of concern about potential modern slavery.