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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. We continue to take positive steps to this end and describe below the progress that has been made over the last year.
JJLA 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, heating infection control, compliance & safety and consumables. This year we have also moved into the fire safety sector.Following a number of strategic acquisitions and significant organic growth the JLA Group now employs over 800 people including 270 engineers operating across the UK and Ireland.
The JLA Group supplies goods and services to its customers via a number of trading entities and associated group companies and this statement and the commitments made below apply in respect of the entire JLA Group.
In August this year, JLA was acquired by private equity firm Cinven Partners LLP (“Cinven”). Cinven does not tolerate modern slavery and seeks to prevent any form of slavery or human trafficking in its business and supply chains. As an investment advisor it also recognises the importance of engaging with portfolio companies, such as JLA, on this important subject. JLA has completed Cinven’s Environment, Social and Governance questionnaire and continues to work with Cinven to ensure that appropriate policies and procedures are implemented to address any risk.
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 has been demonstrated 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 pAs part of our initiative to identify and mitigate risk, we have carried out a review of our supply chain to identify and assess any areas of potential risk. Given the responses received, the nature of our supplier’s business operations and their location (with only one supplier identified where the headquarters are located in a “high risk country” according to the Global Slavery Index) we consider the risk to be low. We have terminated our relationship with any supplier who failed to engage in this process and continue to request that any new supplier confirms their adherence to the JLA Principles. Adherence to the JLA Principles remains a key requirement of our supplier on-boarding process and is used as a conditional requirement in any supplier assessment.
Last year we turned our attention to our contractors, and now include compliance with the Modern Slavery Act and JLA Principles as a key requirement. We have also taken steps this year to engage with key suppliers to our subsidiary companies and will continue to review the responses received at this level.
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, contractors 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.
We will continue to keep the effectiveness of the further 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 2018.
Helen Ashton, CEO