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We are committed to improving our practices to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place anywhere within our business or within our supply chain, and we are proud of the positive steps that we have taken to date as described below.
JLA was founded in 1973 in West Yorkshire, and has grown to become a leading Critical Asset Supply & Service business offering end-to-end solutions in laundry, catering, infection control, compliance & safety and consumables. Following a number of strategic acquisitions and significant organic growth, the JLA Group now employs nearly 800 people, including 270 engineers operating across the UK and Ireland.
The JLA Group supplies goods and services to its customers from the following trading entities; JLA Total Care Limited, JLA Limited, and Circuit Limited and this statement and the commitments made below apply in respect of the entire JLA Group.
In 2010 JLA received financial backing from private equity firm HgCapital. As a responsible investor, HgCapital will not invest in a company which (amongst other things);
• Has production or other activities that involve harmful or exploitative forms of forced labour or child labour; or
• Is, in the opinion of HgCapital, exploitative of vulnerable groups in society.
JLA is proud of the strength and longevity of the relationships that it has with a number of trusted key suppliers both in the UK and around the world. Some of our suppliers have supplied goods to JLA for over 30 years, and we work together co-operatively and transparently to ensure that we continue to achieve our joint business aims. The value that our suppliers place on their relationship with JLA is shown by the positive responses and support we have received from them during the supplier engagement exercise described below.
Our JLA Principles reflect our commitment to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business relationships and to implementing and enforcing effective systems and controls to ensure slavery and human trafficking is not taking place anywhere in our supply chains.
As part of our initiative to identify and mitigate risk, we carried out a review of our supply chain to identify and assess any areas of potential risk. Given JLA’s knowledge of its material suppliers and the location of their business operations, we consider the risk to be low; with only one supplier identified where the headquarters are located in a “high risk country” according to the Global Slavery Index. However, we took steps to contact all of our material suppliers to raise awareness of the issues and requirements of the Modern Slavery Act and to ask them to confirm their adherence to the JLA Principles. All responses were reviewed by our Group Supply Chain Director, Supplier Development Director and Head of Legal. In addition, adherence to the JLA Principles is now a key requirement of our supplier on-boarding process and is used as a conditional requirement in any supplier assessment.
In terms of JLA’s own workforce, JLA employs approximately 800 individuals on direct contracts of employment. As part of the on-boarding process, all employees are required to provide documentary evidence of their entitlement to work in the UK and all employees are required to hold a UK bank account. JLA is fully compliant with the legislative requirements of both the National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage.
To ensure a high level of understanding of the risks of modern slavery and human trafficking in our supply chains and our business, we continue to take steps to raise awareness amongst our suppliers and our employees. We will ensure that for any employee involved in the supplier on-boarding process they will have access to and full awareness of the JLA Principles and the supplier due diligence process.
JLA also has in place a whistle-blowing policy and procedure for all employees.
We intend to keep the effectiveness of the steps we have taken this year under review. As we move into new sectors and markets, we will ensure that we continue to implement our partnership approach to working with our suppliers.
This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes our Group’s slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending 31st October 2016.
Stephen Baxter, CEO