Mere UK Ltd: STATEMENT ON UK MODERN SLAVERY ACT OF 2015 (FOR FISCAL YEAR 2023)
The Modern Slavery Act of 2015 came into effect on 29 October 2015 and requires those entities conducting business in the UK, supplying goods and services, and having annual turnover of £36 million or more to disclose information regarding the efforts they have taken to address slavery and human trafficking from their supply chains during the previous financial year. This is Mere UK’s First Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement, covering Fiscal Year 2023. It outlines Mere UK’s commitment to ensuring it has a positive impact on preventing modern slavery and the steps we have taken to assess and address the risk of modern slavery in our operations and
supply chains. The statement will be reviewed and published annually on our website. Modern slavery is a broad term that encompasses slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour and
human trafficking. Our Business and Values dictate that we conduct ourselves in a fair and balanced manner.
We have always believed we can – and should – have a positive impact on the communities we serve. It is our vision that together we will elevate our partners, customers, suppliers, and neighbours to create positive change. Mere UK’s focus is on four areas where their commitment and scale can make the biggest impact:
• Treating our employees fairly, with fair pay, and working conditions.
• Pushing our green retail business, minimizing our environmental footprint, and inspiring others to do the same.
• Investing in pathways to opportunity through education, training, and employment.
• Strengthening communities by supporting local clubs, and charities.
Mere UK is fully committed to preventing acts of modern slavery and human trafficking from occurring within our business and seeks to impose those same high standards on its suppliers. We will take a zero-tolerance approach to non-ethical practices, and we are committed to acting professionally, fairly and with integrity in all our business dealings and supply chain relationships.
Where suppliers work with Mere UK, we will review their working practices and require them to commit to ensuring that modern slavery does not exist within their own supply network and/or business.
We currently operate the following internal policies to ensure that we are conducting business in an ethical and transparent manner. We review and update all our policies. These include:
1. This Modern Slavery Statement, which sets out our approach on modern slavery and explains how as a business we can identify any risks and how to mitigate these.
2. The Employee Handbook, which sets out our Entitlement to Work in the UK Policy, and confirmation that all employees will be paid directly into their nominated bank accounts, again to safeguard against human trafficking or individuals being forced to work against their will. It also outlines our Health and Safety Policy, and our Whistleblowing Policy.
3. The Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy, which outlines the obligations for all staff members; and all employees are required to abide by all of our published policies and procedures in order to ensure that we exhibit and promote ethical business activities. All suppliers and subcontractors are provided a copy of our Modern Slavery Policy and Statement as well as an overview of our approach to modern slavery and expectations of partners.
In addition to the above policies, Mere UK has incorporated modern slavery due diligence into new supplier approval procedures. This process particularly seeks to understand the organisation’s understanding of and commitment to labour standards, any specific approaches they have to addressing modern slavery. We are committed to working with suppliers to support necessary improvements; however, we will also act if suppliers and sub-contractors do not meet our standards. We engage all new and existing suppliers via a due diligence questionnaire to understand their approach to identifying and addressing modern slavery risks. A clear process is in place for following-up with any suppliers who are deemed medium or high-risk to better understand their approach, any gaps or non-conformance and any further action required. To identify and mitigate risk in relation to the sourcing of goods and services/the supply and acquisition of manufactured products we will be working with contractors and service suppliers to ensure that the necessary Modern Slavery requirements are in place within contracts and that our suppliers engage in ethical business practices. Going forward, as part of our initiative to identify and mitigate risk we will require all contractors and suppliers to provide us with a copy of their Modern Slavery Statement. If this is not available, we require them to confirm in writing their compliance. We also undertake to protect any whistleblowers in line with our Whistleblowing Policy. Our policies and due diligence processes are all informed by and based on international best practice standards and industry guidance including ILO standards, UK Government and NGO Modern Slavery Act Guidance, the Ethical Trading Initiative
Base Code. Assessing and addressing the risk of modern slavery in our operations and supply chains Mere UK is committed to identifying and mitigating modern slavery risks in our operations and supply chain.
While there has been no identified incidence of modern slavery in our operations, or in our supply chains, in 2022 Mere UK undertook analysis of our entire supply chain including construction and facilities management, deliveries, professional services and technology services. We carried out Modern Slavery training with 100% of our key executive team and we review our programs and policies on an ongoing basis to ensure all actions are consistent with industry norms and to make possible additions or amendments where needed to address the specific topics described in the law. We are continuously evolving to identify any risk mitigation within our existing
business and supplier base. Our directors hold overall responsibility for these policies and our approach to addressing modern slavery risks. This statement has been approved by Terry Moran. This statement is by Mere UK Limited for itself and is made pursuant to Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act of 2015 and constitutes our slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year beginning 2023.