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Modern Slavery Statement

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 requires certain businesses to produce a statement setting out the steps they have taken to ensure that there is no modern slavery in their own business and in their supply chains.

This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and  constitutes our slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending 31st July 2017. This statement was approved by the University Court on 13 November 2017. We will review this statement annually.

Our commitment

UWS adopts a zero-tolerance approach to slavery and human trafficking and is committed to protecting human rights. We will act ethically and responsibly in all of our relationships by working with suppliers that share and adhere to this commitment. We will also put in place reasonable measures to ensure that slavery and human trafficking does not occur within our own organisation or our supply chains.

Organisational Structure

UWS is a “body corporate” under the terms of a statutory instrument. The University’s constitutional basis is contained within the Order of Council 2015. It has two governing bodies: the University Court and the University Senate.

The University is organised into six  academic Schools for learning, teaching and research spread across four campuses in the west of Scotland and one in London.

UWS aims to have a transformational influence on the economic, social and cultural development of the West of Scotland and beyond. The University provides relevant, high quality, inclusive higher education and innovative and useful research. We aim to make the communities we serve more successful, and to create opportunities for all to participate.

Our Policies on Slavery & Human Trafficking

We operate a number of polices which support our commitment to human rights and which set out ways that we will minimise the risk of slavery and human trafficking. These policies include our Social Responsibility Statement, Code of Conduct and Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy.

Our Supply Chains

We purchase a wide range of goods and services from suppliers including:

  • ICT equipment and services
  • Professional services
  • Residential services
  • Estates and facilities management goods and services
  • Food and catering supplies
  • Books and printing
  • Laboratory supplies
  • Furniture and stationery
  • Waste and recycling services

Procuring goods and services from suppliers linked to supply chains across the world presents risks of slavery and human trafficking.  We have put in place the following measures to mitigate this risk:

Advanced Procurement for Universities and Colleges

Much of our procurement of goods and services is carried out through Advanced Procurement for Universities and Colleges (APUC) Ltd of which UWS is a member. APUC requires all suppliers to sign a Supply Chain Code of Conduct confirming that it does not use forced, involuntary or underage labour, provides suitable working conditions and treats employees fairly.

Modern Slavery Statement

For procurement that does not take place through the APUC framework (exceeding £50,000 for goods and services and £350,000 for works), this statement is included with all tender documents and potential suppliers are required to complete and sign our Modern Slavery Certificate. This Certificate requires tendering suppliers to set out the measures that they take to ensure that slavery and human trafficking does not take place in their own organisation or supply chains.

Our People

We have put in place the following measures to mitigate the risk of slavery or human trafficking taking place directly within our organisation:

Recruitment Practices

We carry out rigorous right to work checks for all new members of staff. When it is necessary to engage agency workers, we encourage all staff to use recruitment agencies who have met our rigorous procurement procedures.


We comply with all pay related legislation including the UK national minimum wage.

Working Conditions

Our Health and Resilience team oversee the University’s compliance with health and safety legislation across our campuses. We are committed to fair working practices and publish a range of policies and procedures setting out our approach to health and safety, well-being at work and family friendly rights.


All employees are encouraged to raise concerns about possible wrongdoing or malpractice within the University and will be protected from any reprisals should they choose to make such a disclosure.  This commitment is set out in the University’s Public Interest Disclosure Policy.

Additional Information


We screen all donations to the University to check that they do not come from unethical sources. The individual or body responsible for screening each donation will be determined by the monetary value of the donation. Further information is set out in our Donations Policy.  


Any alleged violations of human rights by our employees will be fully investigated and disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, will be taken where appropriate. We will take action to address any human rights breaches identified in our supply chain, which may include terminating a supplier’s contract where serious violations are discovered.  

Our Effectiveness in Combatting Slavery & Human Trafficking

We will regularly review the effectiveness of the measures set out in this statement in combatting slavery and human trafficking.


Download the UWS Modern Slavery Transparency Statement 2019

Last updated: 26/07/2017