Modern Slavery Statement
This statement applies to Wilson’s Automobiles and Coachworks Limited (“Wilsons”) and is referred to in this statement as ‘the Company”. The information included in the statement refers to the financial year 31st December 2020.
Wilsons represent nine of the leading car brands of the world, as well as providing a trade parts supply service for vehicles. Our commercial activities include:
- The sale of new and used vehicles,
- The arranging of finance to enable customers to purchase vehicles,
- The sales and distribution of car parts and
- The maintenance, service and repair of vehicles.
Although each supplier has its own approach towards and responsibility for running its business ethically, Wilson’s will not tolerate any modern slavery or human trafficking in its business or supply chain that it discovers.
The Company considers that modern slavery encompasses:
- human trafficking
- forced work, through mental or physical threat
- being owned or controlled by an employer through mental or physical abuse of the threat of abuse
- being dehumanised, treated as a commodity or being bought or sold as property
- being physically constrained or to have restriction placed on freedom of movement.
The Company acknowledges its responsibilities in relation to tackling modern slavery and commits to complying with the provisions in the Modern Slavery Act 2015. The Company understands that this requires an ongoing review of both its internal practices in relation to its labour force and, additionally, its supply chains.
The Company does not enter into business with any other organisation, in the United Kingdom or abroad, which knowingly supports or is found to involve itself in slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour.
No labour provided to the Company in the pursuance of the provision of its own services is obtained by means of slavery or human trafficking. The Company strictly adheres to the minimum standards required in relation to its responsibilities under relevant employment legislation in the United Kingdom.
We have taken a number of steps to ascertain that slavery and human trafficking are not taking place in any of our supply chains. As a first step, we have undertaken an analysis of our sources of direct supply. More than 90% of our direct supply comes from organisations that are, themselves, required to publish statements setting out the steps that they have taken in this regard. We have reviewed those statements, where available, and will continue to do so periodically. We will work with our suppliers to develop policies and procedures to ensure that we do not engage in business practices or activities that compromise fundamental human rights including all aspects of modern slavery.
Our initial analysis has not yielded any concerns in our present supply chains.
With regards to the remainder of our supply chains, we will continue to consider whether it may be proportionate to take further steps in the light of the risks posed in relation to such supply and the degree of influence that we may have over the relevant suppliers.
New suppliers to the Company are also informed of our ethical approach, including the prohibition of modern slavery, when tendering for new services. If the supplier fails to comply with the modern slavery clauses, then the Company may terminate the contract with that supplier.
Impact of COVID-19
During the reporting period covered by this statement, the COVID-19 pandemic had taken hold. For several months, the UK was placed into lockdown to stem the spread of COVID-19. This created several challenges for the Company, as it did for others across the nation.
The Company welcomes the UK Government’s decision, as confirmed in April 2020, to allow for a delay of up to 6 months in the publication of modern slavery statements without the risk of facing penalty.
Unfortunately, the Company assessed that it would need to delay the publication of this statement for the 2019/2020 financial year due to the impact of COVID-19. It has therefore been delayed for 3 months. The reason for the delay was due to the impact of COVID-19.
The Company concludes that the COVID-19 pandemic did not adjust the risk of modern slavery to a level above that which existed before the pandemic, which is as set out under ‘Potential Exposure’ above.
During the pandemic, the Company employees still had access to the grievance procedure to raise any concerns that they may have had.
In line with emergency legislation passed by the Government, employees have been paid Statutory Sick Pay during periods of self-isolation where it has not been possible to agree a temporary period of homeworking.
The Company’s modern slavery risks were subject to the same monitoring procedures during the pandemic as at all other times.
Because we recognise the need to ensure that our employees are fully aware of the need to avoid contracting with suppliers who rely upon slavery and human trafficking, we are taking steps to inform our colleagues to ensure that they understand their obligations.
Slavery Compliance Officer
The Company has a Slavery Compliance Officer, to whom all concerns regarding modern slavery should be addressed, and who will then undertake relevant action with regard to the Organisation’s obligations.
This statement is made in pursuance of Section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and will be reviewed for each financial year.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of Wilsons by David Wheatcroft, Managing Director