Modern Slavery Statement 2022
This statement is made pursuant to Section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the Act) and sets out the steps Knights Group Holdings plc and its subsidiary, Knights Professional Services Limited (Knights or we), are taking to assess and mitigate any risk of slavery and human trafficking in its businesses for the financial year ending 30 April 2022.
Knights is opposed to any form of forced or bonded labour, including modern slavery or human trafficking and is committed to conducting its business ethically and responsibly. In an increasingly global marketplace, we recognise that all businesses have a responsibility to understand whether modern slavery and human trafficking is taking place within their supply chains or in any part of their business.
As a leading legal and professional services business, Knights always works to the highest professional standards and complies with all laws, regulations and rules relevant to our organisation. We expect the same from our suppliers and business partners.
Knights Group Holdings plc is listed on the Alternative Investment Market and registered in England and Wales. We have over 20 offices located throughout the UK and are continually expanding into new regional legal markets.
Knights Group Holdings plc’s subsidiary, Knights Professional Services Limited, provides a full range of legal services to individual and corporate clients from many sectors, including real estate, financial services and retail and predominantly employs professionally qualified and highly skilled people. The business is supported by centralised operational functions, namely Marketing, Finance, HR, IT, Facilities, Office Services, Legal, Compliance and Data Management.
We work within a collaborative team-based business which has a strong meritocracy and a diverse and inclusive culture. We listen to our colleagues, which allows us to continually evolve how we look after the health and wellbeing of our employees and support them in their careers. We offer a dedicated wellbeing platform and conduct employee satisfaction surveys with a good employee net promoter score.
At Knights, we operate an apprenticeship programme, which is key to attract and develop new talent throughout our business. All our apprentices are paid at an appropriate level in line with government guidelines and we provide ongoing training and opportunities to develop their career within the business, to enhance their future earning potential.
Knights’ supply chain includes services procured to enable the provision of legal services, such as catering and cleaning services, office design, facilities management, fit-out and maintenance services, some outsourced business process services, recruitment and employment agencies and the purchase of goods, including office furniture, supplies and IT software and equipment.
We also work with other professional service providers such as barristers, medical experts, financial advisors, court services and enforcement, tracing agents, surveyors, planning and environmental consultants, insurance companies and brokers.
The vast majority of our supply chain is located within the UK and are large corporates with operations in the UK who are required to adhere to their own modern slavery compliance obligations.
We are committed to ensuring Knights is not supplied by anyone who engages in human trafficking or modern slavery and have a range of policies which underlines this commitment:
Anti-Slavery Policy: our staff are required to adhere to our Anti-Slavery Policy, which is made available on our intranet. Our suppliers are also expected to adhere to the standards set out in our Supplier Code of Conduct which requires compliance with our Anti-Slavery Policy. Wherever necessary, we work with our suppliers to raise awareness and maintain compliance with the Act.
Equality and Diversity Policy: Knights is an inclusive employer, and this policy emphasises our commitment to promoting equality and diversity by seeking to ensure that all individuals are treated fairly with dignity and respect, recognising and encouraging individual contribution within our organisation.
Knights does not discriminate against employees, applicants for employment, other workers, clients or service providers on the basis of race or racial group, nationality, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, religion or belief, age or disability. Senior members of staff are also required to undertake equality and diversity training.
Whistleblowing Policy: if our employees have any concerns about our suppliers or their supply chains or about any other wrongdoing or breaches of law, they are encouraged to raise these concerns to their manager or in confidence using our whistleblowing process without fear of any detrimental treatment.
We have conducted a comprehensive review of all our suppliers to ensure all agreements and any potential modern slavery risks those relationships may pose are managed centrally. All new suppliers and those seeking to renew existing contracts are required to complete our supplier on-boarding process and confirm compliance with our Suppliers Code of Conduct.
We continue to assess acquisition suppliers and identify those with which we wish to conduct business. We terminate those contracts which duplicate services already provided by our existing suppliers and continue to streamline our supply chain, further reducing the risk of modern slavery within it.
Modern slavery contractual terms are implemented on a risk-based approach with all new suppliers, as well as on renewal of any existing supplier contracts. Our standard contractual terms contain a right to audit our suppliers.
Knights’ working practices respect and uphold human rights for our partners, employees, contractors, and all those that work with or for Knights. We have taken the following steps over the last 12 months to identify and mitigate any potential risks of modern slavery or human trafficking within our business and our supply chain:
- We continued to assess the modern slavery risk posed to our business and made changes to our strategy where appropriate.
- Following the consolidation of our facilities management contracts, we have outsourced our facilities management to an external supplier, who is now responsible for all property and facilities services across all our offices, including maintenance, cleaning, security, helpdesk, reactive fabric work, vending, washroom facilities and emergency systems. This means all our previous facilities contractors are now managed by the one supplier who is required to abide by our policies, including the Anti-Slavery Policy.
- We have also consolidated our printer contracts into one, again reducing the risk of modern slavery in our supply chain.
- There is an annual review of all the firm’s policies, including those mentioned above, and we have introduced additional internal processes to simplify our procurement practices. For example, the use of recruitment agencies is reduced by our internal recruitment team sourcing candidates directly, and those agencies we do work with are part of a preferred supplier list.
- Training of those members of staff responsible for the procurement of goods and services or the management of suppliers in modern slavery risks continues to be provided and course completion is monitored on our online training platform.
This statement has been approved by the Board of Knights Group Holdings plc and its subsidiary and is signed on their behalf by:
Chief Executive Officer