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Modern Slavery Statement

1. Introduction

This statement sets out Q5’s actions to understand all potential modern slavery risks related to its business and to put in place steps that are aimed at ensuring that there is no slavery or human trafficking in its own business and its supply chains. This statement relates to actions and activities during the financial year 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023.

As part of the professional services sector, we recognise that we have a responsibility to take a robust approach to slavery and human trafficking.

Q5 is absolutely committed to preventing slavery and human trafficking in its corporate activities, and to ensuring that its supply chains are free from slavery and human trafficking.

2. Organisational structure and supply chains

This statement covers the activities of Q5 Partners LLP:

  • Q5 is a consultancy that specialises in organisational effectiveness and change. We provide business consultancy services to organisations across public, private, and not-for-profit sectors globally.
  • Our supply chain forms predominantly from the Associate resource that we use for projects. Our Associates are Subject Matter Experts in areas such as Organisational Design, Leadership Development and Transformation (to name a few areas).

3. Countries of operation 

The organisation currently operates in the following countries:

  • London, Cardiff and Leeds, United Kingdom
  • New York and Houston United States of America
  • Sydney and Melbourne, Australia

4. Due Diligence Processes

Although the risk of modern slavery is low in our sector, we are mindful of the possible risks, and have a number of processes and procedures in place to help ensure that modern slavery does not take place in our business.

4.1 Our supply chain

We continually assess and review anti-slavery matters with suppliers.

Q5 purchases products from vendors from across the globe.  We source over two thirds of our products through large organisations, all of whom have their own Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statements.

Some of our highest risk sub-categories include: fit out and refurbishment, cleaning, waste management, branded merchandise, technology (hardware) and events and travel (hotels and ground transportation). The labour in these procurement categories tends to be base skilled and manual, which could increase the potential risk of poor practices if we lose visibility over how relationships are managed.

We continually assess and review anti-slavery matters with suppliers, invoking sanctions against those that violate our code of ethics, or fail to improve their performance in line with an action plan.

4.2 Clients

Q5’s primary focus is to provide professional services to clients. If any of our clients are linked to slavery-like practices in their operations or supply chains, we could be associated through the services we provide.

We continually assess and review anti-slavery matters with clients. If we felt that a client was associated with slavery and human trafficking, we may invoke sanctions, or terminate our business relationship.

4.3 Employment

Q5 carry out robust checks prior to employment. This includes interviews and pre-screening of our people including identity checks, right to work, references, criminal records and education checks.

It is the responsibility of everyone at Q5 to escalate concerns or signs of modern slavery and unethical behaviour within our operations or supply chain. We have implemented a number of ways in which our people can speak up:

  • Integrity Line is a secure comms tool for employees to raise concerns and issues. It is cloud based, encrypted and fully secure, and enables a two-way anonymous inbox which allows case managers to follow up and respond to any concerns.
  • All employees at Q5 are provided with a Mentor. As well as using mentoring for development, they can also use the relationship to talk through any concerns that they might have.
  • We have developed an ‘It’s Okay, It’s Not Okay‘ guide, which summarises the behaviours that we collectively believe are and are not acceptable at Q5. This helps our employees feel safe and supported, and promotes a culture of asking for support and calling out situations or behaviours that don’t fit within our values.
  • We recognise that speaking up takes courage. We remind our colleagues of the wellbeing support available to them to support them in this process, for example, our Employee Assistance Programme.

We are committed to ensuring that all our people are paid fairly and ensure that anyone employed by us is paid above the Living Wage.

4.4 Contractors

Q5 use contracted workers to supplement its’ service offerings that cannot be filled in-house. Our contracted workforce (Associates) comprise of highly skilled specialists who support with ongoing project work.

Q5 carry out robust checks prior to engaging with contractors, as per our employees, all contractors are paid above the Living Wage.

5. Policies in relation to modern slavery and human trafficking

Q5 operates the following policies that describe its approach to the identification of modern slavery risks, and steps to be taken to prevent slavery and human trafficking in its operations:

  • Whistleblowing policy Q5 encourages all its workers, customers and other business partners to report any concerns related to the direct activities, or the supply chains of, it. This includes any circumstances that may give rise to an enhanced risk of slavery or human trafficking. Q5’s whistleblowing procedure is designed to make it easy for workers to make disclosures, without fear of retaliation.
  • Equal Opportunity and Dignity at Work policy Q5’s code makes clear to employees the actions and behaviour expected of them when representing the organisation. We strive to maintain the highest standards of employee conduct and ethical behaviour when operating abroad and managing its supply chain.
  • Recruitment policy Q5 uses only specified, reputable employment agencies to source resource and always verifies the practices of any new agency it is using before accepting workers from that agency.
  • Code of Ethics Q5 requires all staff to sign up to its Code of Ethics that provides guidance to support our staff to think about their behaviour and responsibilities. The Code of Ethics covers, but is not limited to, the following matters: legal compliance, respectful workplace, conflicts of interest, sensitive data and information, and potential bribery.
  • Labour Standards & Human Rights Policy Q5 acknowledges its obligations towards its employees, stakeholders and the communities in which it works, and has established a comprehensive system of minimum labour standards to guide its business operations
  • Disciplinary Procedure Q5 aims to ensure that there will be a fair and consistent approach to the enforcement of standards of conduct throughout the company.

6. Training on modern slavery and human trafficking

All employees are required to complete Ethical Workplace Conduct training upon joining Q5. This provides training on workplace conduct, business ethics, and speaking up, as well as other guidance.

During induction training, employees are also provided with information on our Integrity Line, Mentor programme and other initiatives and benefits that can be used to report concerns around unethical behaviour and get further support.

 

On behalf of Q5

Oliver Purnell

Managing Partner

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