Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement

Modern Slavery

Modern Slavery is the exploitation of people who have been forced, deceived, or coerced into a life of labour and servitude. It is a crime hidden from society where victims are subjected to abuse, inhumane and degrading treatment. Human trafficking involves the recruitment or movement of people for exploitation by the use of threat, force, fraud, or the abuse of vulnerability.

Examples of enslavement include:

  • a person who is forced to work or serve – through fear and threats of violence
  • is owned or controlled by an ’employer’ who uses mental or physical abuse to exercise control
  • dehumanised, treated as a commodity or bought and sold as ‘property’
  • being kept in substandard working/living conditions
  • physically constrained or has restrictions placed on his/her freedom of movement

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 introduced changes in UK law focused on increasing the transparency in supply chains and ensuring our supply chains are free from modern slavery (that is slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour and human trafficking). As both a local leader in commissioning health care services for the population of Hertfordshire and West Essex and as an employer, Hertfordshire and West Essex ICB provides the following statement in respect to its commitment to, and efforts in, preventing slavery and human trafficking practices in the supply chain and employment practices.

Our organisation

The Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care Board (ICB) was established on 1 July 2022. Its role is to plan and commission healthcare services for 1.6 million people, working closely with partners to improve the health and wellbeing of local communities.

Our commitment to prevent slavery and human trafficking

The ICB, Senior Management Team and all employees support the Government’s objectives to eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking and recognise the significant role the NHS has to play in both combatting it and supporting victims. We are committed to ensuring our supply chains and business activities are free from ethical and labour standard abuses and in so far as is possible to holding our suppliers to account to do likewise.

Our approach

Our overall approach is governed by compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements and the maintenance and development of good practice in the fields of contracting and employment.

Our policies and arrangements

Our recruitment processes are highly mature; requiring practices that adhere to safe recruitment principles. This includes strict requirements in respect of identity checks, work permits and criminal records. We pay all our employees above the minimum wage.

Our policies such as Bullying and Harassment at Work policy, Safeguarding Adults at Risk policy, Grievance policy, Equality and Inclusion policy and Freedom to Speak Up (Whistleblowing) policy provide an additional platform for our employees to raise concerns about poor working practices.

Our procurement approach follows the Crown Commercial Service standard.

Our anti-slavery programme works with multi-agency partners within Hertfordshire and West Essex to:

  • Support our staff to understand and respond to modern slavery and human trafficking; the impact that each and every individual working in the NHS can have in keeping present and potential future victims of modern slavery and human trafficking safe.
  • Ensure that all NHS commissioned services staff have access to formal training on modern slavery and human trafficking which will provide the latest information and skills to deal with it.

For further information about Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking, including how to report a concern go to:

In a non-emergency to report an incident Police helpline: 101 or visit www.police.uk/101

Crimestoppers: 0800 555 111

For advice if you suspect an incident:

Modern Slavery Helpline: 0800 0121 700

Hertfordshire Safeguarding Adults Board webpage is accessible via this link for information guidance and resources.

Essex Safeguarding Adults Board webpage is accessible via this link for information guidance and resources.

Updated: July 2023.