Modern Slavery Statement 2020/21
This statement is made pursuant to s.54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and sets out the steps that Ardent Hire has taken to ensure that modern slavery or human trafficking is not taking place within our business or supply chain.
Modern slavery encompasses slavery, servitude, human trafficking and forced labour. Ardent Hire has a zero-tolerance approach to any form of modern slavery. We are committed to acting ethically and with integrity and transparency in all business dealings and to putting effective systems and controls in place to safeguard against any form of modern slavery taking place within the business or our supply chain.
Ardent Hire is a self-drive construction equipment rental business with national UK coverage. Our main business focuses on house builders, civil engineering, infrastructure and utility contractors. Our financial year ends on 31st March.
Our business has three main areas: Operations, Sales and Finance (which includes Procurement and Fleet Sales) and employ around 280 colleagues. While we do not believe we have a high risk, we can have most impact on modern slavery and human trafficking by focusing our efforts on our supply chain and so this is our priority.
We operate several internal policies/processes to ensure that we are conducting business in an ethical and transparent manner. These include:
- Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking policy This policy sets out our stance on modern slavery and explains how colleagues can identify any instances of this and where they can go for help.
- Recruitment policy We operate a robust recruitment policy, including conducting eligibility to work in the UK to safeguard against human trafficking or individuals being forced to work against their will.
- Whistleblowing policy We operate a whistleblowing policy so that all employees know that they can raise concerns about how colleagues are being treated, or practices within our business or supply chain, without fear of reprisals.
- Near miss reporting This reporting protects employees who have witnessed near miss incidents and any unsafe acts - anonymously if they wish.
Ardent Hire operates a supplier policy and maintains a preferred supplier list. We conduct supplier audits on all suppliers before and during the term of supply agreements. These checks can include online searches to ensure that organisations have no previous convictions relating to modern slavery and on-site audits which include a review of working conditions. Our anti-slavery policy forms part of our contract with all suppliers and they are required to confirm that no part of their business operations contradicts this policy.
In addition to the above, as part of our contract with suppliers, we require that they confirm to us that:
- They have taken steps to eradicate modern slavery within their business;
- They hold their own suppliers to account over modern slavery;
- They pay their employees at least the national minimum wage/national living wage;
- We may terminate the contract at any time should any instances of modern slavery come to light.
In the current financial year we will be introducing formal quarterly reviews with our major suppliers to ensure compliance and maintain awareness of the issue.
As we anticipate the highest risk area to be our supply chain, we regularly conduct training for our procurement/buying teams so that they understand the signs of modern slavery and what to do if they suspect that it is taking place within our supply chain. During 2019/20 they were actively involved in a review of the Modern Slavery policy. A member of the procurement team will attend an external course on modern slavery in the construction industry during 2021. All our colleagues know that they should raise any suspicions around instances of modern slavery or human trafficking to their manager. Any new colleagues are briefed on our stance on modern slavery when they join us and an awareness raising campaign will be conducted for all Ardent colleagues in the summer of 2021.
There were no reported incidents of Modern Slavery or Human Trafficking in Ardent or, to the best of our knowledge, in our supply chain during the 2019/20 financial year.
Approved on behalf of the Ardent Hire Solutions Ltd Board:
1st April 2020