Taylor Wessing is committed to its responsibilities under the UK's Modern Slavery Act 2015 and this statement sets out the firm's zero-tolerance approach towards modern slavery and human trafficking. Our statement highlights our commitment to this in our dealings and relationships, including our own recruitment process and supply chain.
"Slavery and exploitation are real issues that affect too many people in the modern age. At Taylor Wessing, we take seriously our responsibility in the protection of fundamental human rights and the elimination of modern slavery by ensuring that slavery, human trafficking and child labour has no place anywhere in our business. We promote a safe and happy workplace where we recruit and celebrate a diverse workforce and our colleagues feel valued as individuals, with equal opportunities. Our Dignity at Work Policy also applies to our relationships with third parties and underpins our commitment to building strong and inclusive relationships."
Taylor Wessing LLP is a limited liability partnership in England and Wales, regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Taylor Wessing is the collective name for an international legal practice, operating as one firm but established as separate and distinct legal entities. For further information about the Taylor Wessing offices, please click here. This statement is published on behalf of Taylor Wessing LLP.
As an organisation providing professional services and with a relatively short supply chain, we assess the risk of modern slavery within our business and supply chain to be low. However, we consider modern slavery to be a fundamental issue and we are committed to working ethically and with integrity and to ensure that it does not take place anywhere within our business, including our international offices and or our supply chain.
We have a zero-tolerance policy towards modern slavery, a crime and violation of fundamental human rights which includes any form of slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour.
Our Policy highlights our commitments to this in our dealings and relationships, including our own recruitment process and supply chain.
Our Policy also sets out steps that our staff can take if they are concerned about modern slavery. We maintain a Whistleblowing Policy and other sustainable business policies that ensure issues should not arise but if they do, any concerns raised can be dealt with appropriately.
Supplier due diligence
Our key suppliers are the businesses which provide the goods and services required to run our offices, and to deliver legal services to our clients globally.
We expect all our contractors, suppliers and other business partners to adopt the same high standard as we do to prevent modern slavery, by ensuring all employees and workers are treated with dignity and respect in a fair and ethical environment.
We therefore have a structured procurement process in place which enables us to vet all our suppliers, ensuring that we engage only with those who share our commitment to operating to the highest ethical and business standards, and who comply with our regulatory requirements. Designated contract champions for different business functions at the firm have been trained on this procurement process and are responsible for managing the relationships with respective suppliers.
The process includes a requirement for all prospective suppliers to complete Supplier Questionnaires and provide supporting documentation. Areas covered by the Supplier Questionnaire include diversity and inclusion, human rights, business ethics and sustainability. Our Procurement Team assess and review the information provided in these documents and suppliers are categorised according to the level of risk posed.
The firm's Business Services teams manage their relationships with the relevant suppliers directly, and we review our active suppliers every three years to ensure their continued compliance with our obligations under the Act.
We expect our suppliers to adopt the same principles when contracting with their own suppliers.
Recruitment and work culture at Taylor Wessing
We are dedicated to maintaining a fair and ethical workplace for all our staff.
We ensure compliance with all applicable employment legislation relating to employee recruitment and terms and conditions, including right to work evidence and that no UK staff in the UK offices are paid less than the living wage. Our Grievance and Whistleblowing Policies enable concerns to be raised and resolved. Those can include any concerns about supplier practices.
Our Dignity at Work Policy and procedures promote diversity, establishing mutual respect as a core value in the office and deal with discrimination, harassment and bullying.
It is important to us that our colleagues are aware of the issues surrounding modern slavery and support the firm's values. We therefore intend to offer a training programme for existing employees and consultants to reinforce our zero-tolerance policy and the steps to be taken in the event of any concerns.
Our Risk Management Team will endeavour to review and assess our Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking commitments and will work with our Talent Team and other departments to ensure we meet these expectations.
This is our Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement pursuant to the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 and applies to the financial year ending 30 April 2023.