This statement is made pursuant to the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (“Act”). It outlines the steps that we as a business are taking in relation to our responsibilities under the Act and includes the activities undertaken during the year to identify the risk of potential slavery and human trafficking in Pets at Home’s supply chain and in other parts of our business operations.
Pets at Home Group plc is the UK's leading pet care business; our commitment is to make sure pets and their owners get the very best advice, products and care. Pet products are available online or from our 449 superstores, many of which also have vet practices and grooming salons. Pets at Home also operates a UK leading small animal veterinary business, supporting 468 First Opinion joint venture practices located both in our stores and in standalone locations, as well as 4 Specialist Referral Centres.
Our vision is to be the best pet care business in the world. We therefore take great care in operating our business and in selecting our business partners and suppliers. The products we sell are sourced from a broad range of suppliers – both national and international. We are the only UK pet retailer to have a dedicated sourcing office in the Far East. From our regional base in Hong Kong, which opened in 2012, we have a team of product technologists who support our buyers, oversee and monitor our suppliers and monitor production and supply standards.
Our Policies and Contractual Controls
We are committed to ensuring there is transparency in our business and in our approach to tackling modern slavery throughout our supply chain. Our Code of Ethics and Business Conduct Policy reflects our commitment to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business dealings and relationships and we expect full compliance with it by colleagues, suppliers and business partners.
Our policy is updated annually. This year we will again review and update this policy to further promote increased awareness of modern slavery and compliance with the Act.
Our suppliers are also required to comply with our Ethical Trading Policy which sets out the minimum standards that they are required to adhere to wherever they procure materials, manufacture or perform services for, or supply products to, our business. We also contractually require suppliers to comply with the Pets at Home Group’s Code of Ethics and Business Conduct Policy.
Our supplier standard general terms and conditions require compliance with the Act and include a right for Pets at Home to conduct audits on supplier compliance.
We undertake ethical audits which cover: hours of work, labour practices, working conditions, onsite accommodation, health & safety, environment, supply chain management and wages. Should any instances of non-compliance with the Act or our policies arise in relation to any of our suppliers then this will be reviewed and appropriate action taken. Our standard general terms and conditions with suppliers also include the right for Pets at Home to terminate the agreement in the event of supplier non-compliance with the Act.
This year we will update our Group Whistleblowing Policy to promote increased vigilance amongst colleagues as to any instances of modern slavery, and encourage central reporting of concerns about any issue or suspicion of modern slavery in any parts of our business or supply chain.
Due Diligence and Supplier Adherence
We annually review and where appropriate update our procurement processes in respect of modern slavery. We include specific questions in our tender documentation on the Act to ensure that our suppliers are compliant with it along with our Ethical Trading Policy.
We have previously highlighted the importance of training in raising awareness on modern slavery and assisting our colleagues and suppliers gain a better understanding on the issue of modern slavery and requirements set out in the Act. Training continues to be a key focus of the business and we continue to train colleagues and suppliers. This year we will repeat our UK colleague training programme. In September 2018, at our Asia Supplier Conference (being an area where we consider there is a greater potential risk of modern slavery being prevalent), we will re-deliver a workshop on the subject of modern slavery and the Group’s policies to representatives of 80 Asia based suppliers.
Audit and Assurance
This year the Group’s internal audit team will again undertake an operational effectiveness review of the Group’s policies and controls around compliance with the Act. The report will be issued to and reviewed by the Board and recommendations acted on accordingly.
The Pets at Home Group Plc board of directors approved this statement at a meeting of the Board on 13 September 2018.
Group Chief Executive Officer
Pets at Home Group plc