Elimination of modern slavery and human trafficking
The RNLI has zero-tolerance toward slavery and human trafficking and does not accept modern slavery in any form. In our operations and supply chain, we work with suppliers to ensure compliance with the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 (“the Act”).
The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea. We provide, on call, a 24-hour lifeboat search and rescue service around the UK and Ireland and a seasonal lifeguard service. We have a mix of full-time staff based at our support and training centre in Poole, Dorset, and around the United Kingdom and Ireland, as well as a large number of volunteers who are key to delivering our service.
We are structured in relation to the service we deliver and have Community Lifesaving, International functions, supported by a range of functions including Engineering and Asset Management, Supply Chain, Data, Evidence Insights and Technology, Fundraising and Business Services. Our Governance functions are Safety and Operational Policy and Finance.
The RNLI has a varied supply chain and broad supplier base that includes materials to support the construction of high-tech lifeboats at our lifeboat centres in Poole and in East Cowes on the Isle of Wight, and the provision of lifesaving equipment to our beaches and lifeboat stations around the coast. We run a number of shops selling RNLI merchandise and produce fundraising and education materials used by various teams throughout the UK and Ireland. We have a training centre with accommodation and catering at our Support Centre in Poole alongside traditional office functions, warehousing and logistics. We also have a number of indirect suppliers that provide services to the RNLI to support our Marketing, Technology and other teams throughout the Charity. We have a committed supply chain team working to improve the performance, cost effectiveness and sustainability within the supply chain.
We have a clear set of values that underpin the strong ethical position that is expected by our supporters, volunteers and staff. This ethos is carried through into our policies.
We have a Compliance Management Framework, which takes into account our corporate ethical position which is part of our governance approach. We include Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking clauses in our RNLI contracts to ensure that our suppliers are fully aware of their obligations. Human Rights management is also part of our pre selection questionnaire for new suppliers, managed by our procurement team. We actively seek positive confirmation from our key operational suppliers in high risk geographies of their compliance to the Act.
We have a Safeguarding Policy and a Whistleblowing Hotline. We will continue to focus on how best to provide training and support on slavery and human trafficking matters for our staff and volunteers, where they are contracting with our suppliers.
We are committed to working with our partners and suppliers to ensure that human trafficking and slavery are not taking place within our supply chain. As part of this approach we are in the process of implementing our updated procurement and supply policy.
We are developing and rolling out our Supplier Code of Conduct which sets out the RNLI’s expectations regarding business ethics, working conditions and human rights.
Claire Deuchar, Supply Chain Director on behalf of the RNLI Executive Team