Modern slavery - Avenues Group
30 - 1993-2023

Modern Slavery Statement

This statement is made on behalf of the Avenues Group and its subsidiaries; Avenues South, Avenues South East, Avenues London and Avenues East. It sets out the steps that Avenues has taken to ensure that Modern Slavery is not taking place in our supply chains or in any part of our organisation. The Avenues Group Board approved this statement for and on behalf of the Group and its subsidiaries. This statement relates to the period to March 2024.

About us

Avenues is a specialist provider of support services for people with autism, learning disability and acquired brain injury with 1600 staff supporting around 650 people across our subsidiaries in the South East, West Midlands, London and East of England.

Avenues is committed to excluding the existence or prospect of modern day slavery within the whole Group and that of its supply chain. We work to the highest professional standards and comply with all laws, regulations and rules relevant to our organisation and we expect the same from our suppliers. Our supply chain includes the following:

  • IT and communications
  • Building, maintenance, utilities and cleaning
  • Marketing and media
  • Employment and recruitment – including training provision and occupational health
  • Legal, financial and specialist practice support

We are committed to only working with organisations that share our values and work ethically and with integrity. We take a zero tolerance approach to modern slavery practices and will not engage with any organisation which knowingly supports or is found to be involved in slavery, forced or compulsory labour.

Our approach

Our core values underpin a range of policies that contribute to our strong culture of Fairness, Resect, Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement which in turn are reflected in our Equality of Opportunity, Dignity at Work and Anti Bullying and Harassment Policies.

As a result, we have an open and non-discriminatory culture that enables individuals to raise concerns about wrongdoing including breaches of the law or regulations, without fear of reprisals including disciplinary action. This approach is reinforced by our Whistle Blowing Policy and Procedure. The Whistleblowing procedure is operated by an independent party ensuring that concerns can be raised entirely confidentially. External stakeholders can raise their concerns via our Complaints Procedure.

We operate a robust recruitment and people management process, including conducting eligibility to work in the UK checks for all employees to safeguard against human trafficking or forced labour. We do not employ anyone under the age for completion of compulsory education.

All of our employees are paid at least the National Living Wage and in relation to temporary staff provided via neutral vendor model, we have full visibility of charging structures and can be confident that workers are in receipt of at least the National Living Wage.

All of our operational workforce complete Safeguarding Training every 2 years and this includes a module dedicated to Modern Slavery Awareness. This is further supported by our Safeguarding Policy, which sets out our definitions of abuse inclusive of modern slavery.

We support the wellbeing of our workforce and their families through a variety of initiatives, which includes access to an independent, free and confidential telephone advisory service through which victims of modern slavery can seek legal and emotional support for their situation.

We only use reputable agencies for the provision of temporary and permanent staff and half of this provision is via a neutral vendor who operate stringent vetting of the agencies that they supply on our behalf. We undertake spot checks on other agencies for the same purpose.

Actions to date

  • We have continued our current procedures; monitoring supplier information and practices.
  • We have continued to use our code of conduct to communicate the standards expected of suppliers.
  • We are developing a procurement policy which will both strengthen our commitment to the eradication of modern slavery whilst introducing new procedures for the onboarding of new suppliers.
  • We have formed a partnership with a Neutral Vendor provider of agency staff for part of our organisation. The neutral vendor undertakes stringent checks on all agency partners on behalf of the end user and this has been introduced to the majority of the organisation.
  • We have continued to raise awareness for office-based employees

Our commitment

  • We will finalise and publish the procurement policy
  • We will continue to include reference to the Modern Slavery Act across our policies, where applicable.
  • We will continue with our robust right to work checks, to identify any evidence of human trafficking, particularly as we become a licenced sponsor under the Skilled Worker immigration route in August 2023

This statement has been approved by Avenues Group Board

Board approval date 17 October 2023

 Signed                

Jo Land, Group Chief Executive

Modern Slavery Statement 2021

Modern Slavery Statement 2022

www.modernslaveryregistry.org