This statement is made by Hermes Parcelnet Limited. It is a statement made in accordance with Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and covers the financial year from 1 March 2020 to 28 February 2021. The statement also refers to activity we will be taking during our 2021/22 financial year.
Hermes is the UK’s leading consumer delivery specialist handling more than 640 million parcels each year. We have over 6,500 employees and operate a network of over 18,000 self-employed couriers, 32 parcel processing sites, c.500 delivery units and over 5,400 ParcelShops and access to over 1,900 lockers.
Hermes works with a wide range of businesses in the UK from leading high street and online retailers to SMEs and micro-sellers. We also deliver for consumers through our www.myhermes.co.uk website.
We engage a range of third-party suppliers to provide goods, services and labour to us (our “Suppliers”). These Suppliers include suppliers of fleet vehicles, parcel sortation equipment, mobile scanning hardware and software and cloud-based technology as well as warehouse workers and HGV drivers via agencies.
We also engage self-employed individuals to provide courier services on our behalf such as our final mile couriers, those who operate ParcelShops and/or provide delivery unit operational services (collectively, our “Services Providers”).
We are committed to the sustainable development of our business in a way that reconciles economic success with the social wellbeing of individuals that are employed by us or are involved in the provision of services to us.
We understand that slavery, human trafficking, servitude and forced labour (“Modern Slavery”) is a global and increasing challenge for governments and business.
We recognise our responsibility to be aware of the risk of modern slavery within our own organisation and supply chain.
In 2016 we introduced a Code of Conduct (“the Code”) into the business. A copy of the Code can be found by clicking on the relevant link found below this statement.
In February 2020 we updated the Code to amend the confidential whistleblowing hotline and produced an easy to read, plain English summary of the Code. This summary was presented in a poster and leaflet which was shared with all staff and Service Providers, publicised throughout the business, backed by a personal message from the CEO.
The Code acts as the cornerstone of our Social Compliance strategy which includes audits, complaints procedure and a whistleblowing process and is based on ethical, moral and legal principles providing a framework for all that we do.
Our Suppliers and Service Providers can expect us to comply with the law, observe ethical standards and act as a fair business partner. In turn, we expect our Suppliers and Service Providers to apply the same standards. We make an unambiguous commitment in the Code to treat our Service Providers and suppliers with dignity and respect.
The Code defines what modern slavery means and makes clear that it is prohibited in our operations and supply chain. Hermes and our employees will not engage in, facilitate or fail to report any activity that might lead to, or suggest, a breach of our Code in this respect. Likewise, our Suppliers and Service Providers must not engage in, facilitate or fail to report any activity that might lead to, or suggest, a breach of those principles.
The Code includes a complaints procedure under which alleged breaches of the Code can be raised and will then be investigated.
There is also a company wide Anti-slavery and Human Trafficking policy that is publicly available on the Hermes World website which sets out our commitment to ensuring transparency in our business and our approach to tackling modern slavery. This policy will be updated this year after external legal review.
All new employees undergo all the legally required pre-employment checks to ensure identity is correct and that there is full right to work in the UK and all are paid National Living Wage or above, regardless of age.
To seek to prevent slavery and trafficking in our business and supply chains we send a copy of our Code of Conduct to any company applying to work with Hermes through a formal tender process. The Code forms a part of the contract we have with Suppliers and most contracts include an obligation to comply with the Code.
New third-party relationships are subject to specific questioning regarding compliance with the Modern Slavery Act and the Code; and we have modified our procurement procedures to address the risk of slavery and trafficking.
All staff are required to complete mandatory online training to ensure they are aware of modern slavery and signs to look out for in identifying it.
On top of mandatory online testing for all employees, we have worked with the Slave Free Alliance to develop more detailed and specific training for those employees within our operation who are engaging with self-employed Service Providers daily.
This initial training took place in July and August 2020 for employees that work as Community Delivery Managers (“CDMs). Since then, any new starter in this role takes part in this training as part of their induction, meaning that all CDMs are trained.
In the coming year we will look at rolling out the training from the CDMs to employees in other roles, including more operational colleagues within our transport, hub and depot operations where we frequently use agency staff.
The mandatory training for all employees will also be reviewed and updated for the coming year 2021/22.
Joined the Slave Free Alliance (SFA), a social enterprise and membership initiative, to provide advice and support for businesses working towards a slave free supply chain.
Worked with the SFA to develop the training course for Community Delivery Managers that was implemented in the summer of 2020 and is included in the induction for new starters.
Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, internal audits of our delivery unit network ceased due to the social distancing restrictions that were implemented. This has led us to review the modern slavery audit process and take steps to bring in an external audit specialist for the upcoming year.
Completion of the online modern slavery training decreased slightly to 49% from 53% in the previous year (2019/20). In part this is due to the unprecedented increase in parcel volumes meaning that new operational starters would partake in the training as part of their induction in a class room environment and not through the online portal which generates the completion data. There is an aim for all employees to complete the mandatory training via online portal for improved tracking and compliance visibility.
Implemented processes within our labour supply agencies to ensure robust checks are carried out on new workers including highlighting if the same contact details (telephone number, address) have been used for more than one individual, which may highlight modern slavery concerns as well as duplication of bank account details to ensure wages are not being paid into one account for several workers.
Continue our work with the Slave Free Alliance to undertake a full risk gap analysis of the business to find out how modern slavery is understood in different parts of the company, highlighting any gaps in policy and/or processes.
Review and update the modern slavery training for all employees and roll out as part of the mandatory annual training programme.
Expand the in-depth modern slavery training to transport, hub and depot operational employees based in our parcel processing sites.
Ensure all employees complete the mandatory training via the online portal allowing for improved tracking of compliance visibility.
Bring in external auditors to audit the delivery unit network and identify any signs of modern slavery.
Work with the Slave Free Alliance to design and embed a robust modern slavery escalation process into the business. This will involve upskilling employees in becoming the point of contact for any concerns.
Engage an external law firm to review and update the Code of Conduct as well as the Anti-slavery and Human Trafficking Policy.
This Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement is hereby approved by the Executive Committee of Hermes Parcelnet Limited
28 August 2021