Modern Slavery

This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) modern slavery and human trafficking statement (including our trading subsidiaries, RHS Enterprises Ltd and RHS Special Events Ltd) in relation to the financial year that ended 31 January 2020.
We are committed to ensuring modern slavery is not present in our supply chains and have introduced, and will continue to develop, policy and procedures to manage the way we obtain goods and services to keep our supply chains robust and free from modern slavery. During the last year, an internal audit was undertaken on the Society’s progress in relation to our modern slavery commitments. While significant progress has been made, the audit identified certain areas that can be improved in our control framework. These improvements will be implemented in the current financial year.
We have an ethical trading policy in place under which all retail suppliers are asked to confirm that they are compliant with our requirement that their supply chains are free from modern slavery, with appropriate due diligence being undertaken on any suppliers that are identified as high risk. There are also contractual obligations in key supplier contracts for our RHS Flower Shows. Due to the diverse nature of our activities, our policies are currently departmental and specific to suppliers relevant in that area and the associated risks.
We are now working on a Society-wide modern slavery policy to articulate our individual and collective responsibilities in key risk areas and setting out where staff can turn to if help or guidance is needed. Our governance arrangements will also be clearly defined with assigned accountability and clear delegation of responsibility. This will also include a defined procedure detailing staff actions required in the event that a modern slavery incident is discovered or suspected.

To date, Modern Slavery Awareness (training) has been targeted on those in specific roles with a higher likelihood of encountering potential issues. A broader training programme will be rolled out with the new Society-wide policy in the current financial year; this will build on and reflect other relevant policies that are in place, such as our Ethical Investments Policy.

We continue to operate within the UK only and we ensure that all of our workers are eligible to work in the UK. The majority of our workers are employed directly; where on occasion we utilise agency workers, we ensure the same checks are undertaken by the agency. We ensure we pay all workers at or above the National Minimum Wage. We have clear policies on ‘grievance’ and ‘whistleblowing’ together with an employee consultative group called RHS Voices, through which employees can raise matters of concern. Our Employee Assistance Programme also provides staff with a secure way of seeking advice about any modern slavery or human trafficking issues personally affecting them or their families. As recommended in the audit, these policies will be reviewed during the year.
Approved by the RHS Council on 30 July 2020 and the Boards of RHS Enterprises Ltd and RHS Special Events Ltd on 31 July 2020. Signed by Sue Biggs, Director General.

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.