Published: 22nd June 2018
Modern slavery and human trafficking can take many forms including the trafficking of people, forced labour, servitude and slavery. Labco UK Group Limited (“LUKGL”) fully supports the Government’s objectives to eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking and is strongly committed to ensuring our supply chains and business activities are free from ethical and labour standards abuse.
LUKGL is part of the SYNLAB Group, whose ultimate parent is SYNLAB Limited. The SYNLAB group of companies is a market leader in medical diagnostic services for healthcare professionals, healthcare organisations and the pharmaceutical industry across Europe and Latin America.
In the UK, LUKGL has several main business areas:
- Hospital Business: The hospital business works in partnership with the NHS to deliver transformed pathology testing services in the UK. Hospital partnerships include, amongst others, Southwest Pathology Services , Pathology First and the Christie Pathology Partnership , and now conduct more than 25 million tests per annum across all pathology disciplines including Clinical Chemistry, Haematology, Immunology, Microbiology and Cellular Pathology. There are over 650 staff employed across seven sites in the UK.
- Food, Drug and Alcohol Testing Business: This business division provides food, drug and alcohol testing from three main laboratory sites in the UK. Employing over 270 staff who either work at one of these laboratories or work remotely attending client sites to administer and collect samples, the Food, Drug and Alcohol division delivers this service to the construction, logistics, rail, energy and manufacturing industries, as well as to family law courts, occupational health providers, the prison service and the petrochemical industry.
- Labco Diagnostics UK Limited: This business supplies renal pathology testing, carrying out more than 40 different types of tests across the pathology disciplines; Clinical Chemistry, Haematology and Serology (Hepatitis B and C screening). It has one laboratory location and employs seven staff.
- Veterinary Pathology Group (“VPG”): This business was acquired in November 2017 and comprises five laboratories in the UK and one laboratory in the Republic of Ireland. VPG offers all aspects of clinical pathology and microbiology, and includes comprehensive offerings in serology, immunology, PCR testing, and toxicology. VPG employs 129 staff and has a strong reputation for its expertise in cytology and histopathology as well as immunocytochemistry and histochemistry.
- SYNLAB UK Limited (“SYNLAB UK”): This business specialises in providing end-to-end services for the diagnosis of Latent Tuberculosis Infection, and is experienced in carrying out a broad range of pathology services in support of clinical trials. SYNLAB UK’s preferred partnerships enables it to source innovative tests and to find ways to introduce these tests both to private physicians and clinics, as well as to NHS organisations. SYNLAB UK has developed a very wide portfolio of molecular and genetic diagnostic tests and currently provides specialist cancer testing, non-invasive prenatal testing and various women’s health testing.
The Policy and its Implementation
LUKGL is committed to ensuring that there is no form of modern slavery or human trafficking present in its supply chains or in any part of its businesses. The LUKGL’s Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy (the “Policy”), reviewed most recently in February 2018, reflects our commitment to act ethically and with integrity in all our business relationships and to implement and enforce effective systems and controls to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place anywhere in LUKGL’s businesses or in the supply chains of those businesses.
The Policy ensures all workers have a good understanding of how to prevent exploitation and human trafficking within our business and our supply chain. Our Code of Ethics Policy, which all new staff are required to sign before commencement, and our Whistleblower Policy also include reference to our stance in this area.
Last year, we wrote to all existing suppliers to pass on specific obligations relationing to modern slavery and human trafficking to both the supplier and their own supply chain. Since then, contracts with new suppliers and any upcoming contract renewals contain (or are being amended to contain) specific contractual clauses, making clear our expectation of equal commitment to the prevention of modern slavery and human trafficking within their own businesses and supply chains. If there is a failure by a supplier to meet the standards, in the first instance, LUKGL and its businesses would seek to give support and guidance to the supplier tackle the issue but ultimately, failure to meet the expected standards is deemed as a breach of contract which may result in the termination of our relationship with any supplier at fault.
Our due diligence checks ensure that LUKGL is compliant with all relevant legislation and we continue to review our policies and processes to ensure compliance is maintained.
A central audit of the hourly rate of all staff and workers was undertaken to satisfy ourselves that the National Minimum Wage was being paid in all circumstances. This audit will continue to be undertaken annually.
All staff recruited into LUKGL’s businesses undergo relevant pre-employment checks. LUKGL and its businesses check the identity and eligibility to work in the UK of all candidates and ensure a Disclosure Barring Service check is completed if the role involves working closely with patients, vulnerable adults or children.
Training and Communication
LUKGL continues to support our employees to understand and respond to modern slavery and human trafficking.
Along with reminders included within team briefings, we have provided access to a mandatory e-learning training module with respect to modern slavery and human trafficking in the largest of our hospital partnerships. Within the remaining business areas, the reading and understanding of our Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy has become a mandatory requirement as part of the induction for all new starters. We have also ensured that the revised policy has been shared with all existing employees. We are also committed to the development and delivery of further training material which will provide the latest information and the skills to ensure that employees understand the relevant LUKGL processes and can identify potential warning signs of modern slavery and human trafficking.
LUKGL will review its actions in relation to the Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy annually.
This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes LUKGL’s Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking Statement for the financial year 2017/2018. This statement has been approved and authorised by:
Name: Arnaud Gueny
Position: Chief Executive Officer of SYNLAB UK Limited, for and on behalf of Labco UK Group Limited