Published: 28th June 2019
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:
- Human Medicine Diagnostics and Pathology Business: The human medicine diagnostics and pathology 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. Labco Diagnostics UK Limited supplies renal pathology testing, carrying out more than 40 different types of tests across the pathology disciplines. The human medicine diagnostics and pathology business 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 700 staff employed across eight sites in the UK.
- Drug and Alcohol Testing Business: This business division conducts drug and alcohol testing from two main laboratory sites in the UK. Employing over 300 staff who either work at one of these laboratories or work remotely attending client sites to administer and collect samples, the 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.
One of the companies within the drug and alcohol business also provides 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, along with a very wide portfolio of molecular and genetic diagnostic tests and specialist cancer testing, non-invasive prenatal testing and various women’s health testing.
- Veterinary Diagnostics Business: This business comprises multiple laboratories in the UK and one laboratory in the Republic of Ireland. The Veterinary diagnostics business offers all aspects of clinical pathology and microbiology, and includes comprehensive offerings in serology, immunology, PCR testing, and toxicology. The business employs 140 staff and has a strong reputation for its expertise in cytology and histopathology as well as immunocytochemistry and histochemistry.
- SYNLAB Analytics and Services Business (“SYNLAB A&S”): This business has two main components dedicated to food analysis and environmental testing (which includes oil and fuel analysis). SYNLAB Food Testing provides specialist food and feed analysis from 2 laboratories helping customers to minimise the risks of supplying a non-compliant products. SYNLAB Oil and Fuel Analysis specializes in monitoring all types of lubricated systems. Together SYNLAB A&S employs 190 people.
Further details about what LUKGL do can be found on www.synlab.co.uk
Our Supply Chains
LUKGL uses a wide range of suppliers who supply goods, equipment and workers to support our operations. LUKGL is committed to continuously improving its practices to identify and eliminate any slavery and human trafficking in its business and supply chains, and to acting ethically and with integrity in all its business relationships.
Our commercial function is responsible for sourcing the goods and services we need to run our businesses and ensures our Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy is adhered to.
Our Policies on Slavery and Human Trafficking and its Implementation
LUKGL is committed to ensuring that there are no forms 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 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 of employment, and our Whistle-blower Policy also include reference to our stance in this area.
LUKGL has previously written to all existing suppliers to pass on specific obligations relating 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.
Each business within LUKGL conducted an 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. Staff can only receive payment of wages into a bank account that is in their own name (or joint account).
Training and Communication
In 2019 LUKGL commenced rolling out an electronic learning platform, Learning Pool, across all its UK businesses. The platform includes a new training module with respect to modern slavery and human trafficking which is compulsory for all current staff to complete. As of the date of this statement, 646 out of 1212 employees and other workers registered on our learning platform employees have completed the new e-learning module. Our target is to achieve 95% completion rates in this module by 31st December 2019. The roll out of the system will be completed in the third quarter of 2019. All new staff will be required to complete the module during the first 12 weeks of their induction. We have also ensured that the 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.
Review and Effectiveness
LUKGL will review its actions in relation to the Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy annually.
During 2019/20, LUKGL will:
- Monitor the roll out of its modern slavery and human trafficking e-learning package with all existing staff to have completed the module by 31st December 2019 and all new staff to complete the module within 12 weeks of commencing employment.
- Build a greater understanding of how employment agencies which supply temporary staffing are meeting their obligations by requesting providers to supply a copy of their current policy and annual modern slavery statement.
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 ending 31 December 2019. This statement has been approved and authorised by:
Name: Arnaud Gueny
Position: Chief Executive Officer of SYNLAB UK & Ireland, for and on behalf of Labco UK Group Limited
Date: 27th June 2019
For our 2018 Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement please click here.