1st Formations Modern Slavery Statement 2023

1. Introduction

We are committed to improving our practices to combat modern slavery in our business by taking steps, as far as we are able, to ensure that our supply chains are free from slavery and human trafficking.

This statement sets out the steps we have taken in the financial year ending 30 June 2023 to understand potential modern slavery risks within our business structure and supply chain, and as well as the steps taken to eradicate these risks.

2. Why is combatting modern slavery important?

Modern slavery is the illegal exploitation of people for personal gain. Forced labour is estimated to affect over 40 million people around the world, impacting people of all backgrounds, and as recently as 2019 the Government had identified more than 10,000 potential victims in the United Kingdom.

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 was introduced in the UK and came into force on 29 October 2015 and is designed to combat the crimes of slavery and human trafficking. An overview of the Modern Slavery Act can be viewed on the GOV.UK website.

3. About us

1st Formations is one of the UK’s top corporate service providers, delivering:

  • Company secretarial services
  • Company formation
  • Address services
  • VAT and PAYE registration
  • Business telephony services

As part of a group that employs over 100 staff members across two offices in England and Scotland, we are proud of putting Corporate Social Responsibility at the heart of what we do, for the benefit of our staff and the wider community.

As our annual turnover is under £36 million, we are not required to make a modern slavery statement under section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. However, we are making this voluntary statement to show our commitment to ethical trading principles and to set out the steps we are taking to identify risks and tackle modern slavery and human trafficking in our business and in our supply chains.

4. Our Policies

Whilst we recognise that the risk of slavery and human trafficking in our industry is low, and that we do not have an extensive supply-chain, our internal policies nonetheless help mitigate any risks in our business or supply chain. Examples of policies that we have implemented in this regard include:

  • Anti-Slavery Policy - Our policy reflects the fact that we instil the need to ensure that all of our business relationships are transparent and ethical at their core.
  • Whistleblowing policy – Our Company Handbook sets out the right of any employee who has concerns about our Company and how it works. This includes any suspicion of slavery or human trafficking. All such concerns are raised with either their line manager or directly with senior management, whereupon they are escalated directly to the company’s Board to be dealt with in the appropriate manner on an urgent basis.
  • Anti-Money Laundering – As a company services provider, we are required to comply with the Money Laundering Regulations and are supervised by His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for this purpose. We have implemented stringent compliance and identity verification checks on all companies we provide services for, helping to reduce the risk of money laundering from criminal activities.
  • Anti-Bribery – We operate a strict anti-bribery and corruption policy which is in line with the Bribery Act 2010.
  • Equal Opportunities Statement – We are committed to encouraging diversity and eliminating discrimination in both our role as an employer and as a provider of services. Our Equal Opportunities Statement is to provide equality and fairness for all in our employment and in our provision of services and not to discriminate on the grounds of gender, marital status, race, ethnic origin, colour, nationality, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, religion, or age.
  • Living Wage Foundation and Annual Cost of Living Adjustment – We are a proud member of The Living Wage Foundation, paying all staff above the “Real Living Wage” set by the Living Wage Foundation. Furthermore, we provide all staff with an annual cost of living adjustment, in line with inflation.
  • Carbon Neutral and Green Mark – We are certified as a Carbon Neutral Business 2022 by Carbon Neutral Britain. We are also a Green Mark Level 1 certified business, having demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of our environmental impact and a commitment to implementing long term behavioural change.
  • Wellbeing solutions – We operate a comprehensive range of programmes designed to improve the wellbeing of our staff, including Employee Assistance (with a 24/7 mental health helpline and free counselling for staff members and their family) as well as the Cycle to Work scheme.
  • Wonder Foundation partnership - We partner with the Wonder Foundation which works with women and children in Guatemala to empower them through education and vocational training. Our partnership includes both fundraising and volunteering.

5. Due diligence and risk assessment

As a provider of company services, our suppliers are largely made up of those delivering services in our offices (such as maintenance and cleaning) to those supporting our business (for example, telecommunication suppliers and IT maintenance).

We consider any third parties who represent us, and suppliers who provide goods and/or services to us, as an extension of our business. That is why we work collaboratively with them to ensure they act in a way that is consistent with our ethics.

We therefore have a policy of only engaging reputable firms, including those of international standing. We work to develop deep and long-lasting relationships with external parties, setting out our expectations from the very outset and keeping in regular contact through the course of the relationship.

6. Training

To ensure a high level of understanding of the risks of modern slavery and human trafficking in our supply chains and our business, we provide training to our staff. This is in addition to a requirement that all staff familiarise themselves with our Company policies.

We continually monitor our staff’s awareness of these policies through annual reviews. These annual reviews, wherein each staff member is subject to a series of questions relating to the Company’s policy, features a stringent pass mark. If staff members fail to attain this pass mark, appropriate follow-up action and re-training is undertaken.

7. Monitoring of this policy

We recognise that the nature of modern slavery is subject to continuous evolution. We will review this policy to ensure that it is operating effectively. Where concerns have been raised through this policy, we will consider how they have been handled and, if appropriate, follow up action shall be taken.

8. Our performance

There are no known issues of modern slavery in our business or supply changes.

9. Contact us

You can contact us at info@1stformations.co.uk with any comments, questions, or suggestions regarding our statement. We welcome a dialogue with all customers and any stakeholders who are interested in this very important topic.

10. Approval of this policy

This voluntary slavery and human trafficking statement is made for the financial year ending 30 June 2023 and was approved by the Directors on 21 July 2023.

This statement applies to 1st Formations Limited, a company registered in England and Wales with the company registration number 08861249, and with the registered office at 71-75 Shelton Street, Covent Garden, London, England, WC2H 9JQ.