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Modern Slavery Statement

 

Introduction

This statement sets out A&O IT Group PLC'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 this financial year.
As part of IT Services sector, we recognise that we have a responsibility to take a robust approach to slavery and human trafficking and we continue to take our responsibility very seriously during the coronavirus pandemic.
Our organisation 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.

About A&O IT Group

A&O IT Group is involved in a diverse range of IT support and consulting solutions, part of which is cyber security.

Services: The delivery and management of IT support services to organisations that deliver outsourced IT break-fix support services. Apart from a small minority of contracts, where services are deployed purely within the confines of a customer site with no day-to-day operational interaction externally (such as A&O IT Group contracts concerned with certain Government agencies), A&O IT Group controls and manages the day-to day deployment of services through the Service Desk based in Bracknell.

To date A&O IT Group works in over 120 countries and the nature of the services offered to outsourcing organisations means that there is no traditional sense of “standard product offering”, each service being tailored and reliant on its own functional requirements & procedures. The working practice of the company is to become strongly sub-servient to the “on site & operational” working practices and standard operating procedures imposed by the outsourcing organisation. This is a wholly necessary requirement as the outsourcing organisation that A&O contracts with may in turn be bound by terms and policies dictated by an End Enterprise customer.

All legal obligations, such as GDPR, compliance or Occupational Health & Safety regulations or information security become localised to the requirements of each contract undertaken.

A&O IT Group’s key supply chain reaches out to numerous Local Service Partners (LSPs) who deliver work on behalf of A&O IT Group internationally. The goal of A&O IT Group is to dual source partners in each territory and breed a culture of trust and collaboration.

The company also provides IT solutions directly to organisations. Again, the portfolio is diverse covering capabilities from cloud hosting to business consulting, software development and product resale. A&O IT Groups key differentiator is again to offer a highly tailored service. Information Security requirements are subject to specific contractual needs but fall under the broad frameworks of A&O IT Group ‘s ISMS.

Cybersecurity: A&O IT Group also provides highly specialist cyber security consulting services directly to organisations. In many cases, normal security controls for customer data are deliberately tested (and subsequently broken) to prove and expose vulnerabilities in infrastructure and software. 

Policies:

Given the nature and locations of our business, we consider ourselves to be a low risk of the potential for slavery or trafficking.  We have several policies and procedures in place which we consider to be effective to prevent modern slavery from occurring in our business or supply chain.

Whistleblowing policy: We encourage all our workers, customers, and other business partners to report any concerns related to the direct activities, or the supply chains of, our organisation. This includes any circumstances that may give rise to an enhanced risk of slavery or human trafficking. Our whistleblowing procedure is designed to make it easy for workers to make disclosures, without fear of retaliation.

Employee code of conduct: Our code makes clear to employees the actions and behaviour expected of them when representing our organisation. We strive to maintain the highest standards of employee conduct and ethical behaviour when operating abroad and managing its supply chain.

Supplier/Procurement code of conduct: We are committed to ensuring that its suppliers adhere to the highest standards of ethics. Suppliers are required to demonstrate that they provide safe working conditions where necessary, treat workers with dignity and respect, and act ethically and within the law in their use of labour. We work with suppliers to ensure that they meet the standards of the code and improve their worker's working conditions. However, serious violations of our supplier code of conduct will lead to the termination of the business relationship. 

Recruitment/Agency workers policy: We use only specified, reputable employment agencies to source labour and always verifies the practices of any new agency it is using before accepting workers from that agency.

Due diligence: We undertake due diligence when considering taking on new suppliers, and regularly reviews its existing suppliers. 

Further Steps

A&O IT Group Plc does not consider that risk of potential for slavery or trafficking has increased for the business as a result of the ongoing global pandemic. We will continue to focus on the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees and to maintain responsible relationships with our suppliers and partners during the pandemic. A&O IT Group takes a zero-tolerance approach.

We plan to implement the following in 2021 to further guard against the risk of modern slavery and trafficking:

  • Carry out Supplier audits to ensure compliance with the Act.
  • Provided “Code of Conduct” training to all employees which includes information about “Whistleblowing” and “Modern Slavery statement”.
  • A further review of our “Supplier Code of Conduct”

Board/Member approval

This statement is made in pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and was  approved by our board of directors.

Ray Ridgwell – Director
1st June  2021