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We're committed to acting ethically and with integrity

Our Modern Slavery Statement 2018

Introduction

Foundation for Credit Counselling Wade House, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8NG trades as StepChange Debt Charity, StepChange Debt Charity Scotland, and StepChange Debt Charity Ireland.

A registered charity no.1016630, SC046263, and RCN20104887 we are a limited company registered in England and Wales (company no: 2757055), authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

StepChange is the parent company of:

  • Consumer Credit Counselling Service (Equity Release) Limited trading as StepChange Financial Solutions (company no. 06741879); and Consumer Credit
  • Counselling Service Voluntary Arrangements Limited trading as StepChange Voluntary Arrangements (company no. 05659160).

We recognise the importance of combating slavery and human trafficking and are committed to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place anywhere in the Charity or our supply chains.

Organisational structure

As the leading debt advice charity in the UK, we are funded by voluntary donations from creditors and others and grants from public bodies. Governed by an independent Board of Trustees chaired by Chris Stern (Interim Chair), the Trustees are collectively responsible for delivering the long term success of the Charity with an Executive Board responsible for the day to day management.

We operate in England, Wales, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland.

Our approach

We are committed to acting ethically and with integrity in all of our daily client and business dealings. Risks are regularly reviewed by our Board of Trustees, the Audit & Risk Committee and the Executive Risk and Conduct Committee. A number of internal policies are embedded into the Charity and are regularly reviewed. These include:

  • Whistleblowing policy – we encourage colleagues to report any concerns without the fear of retaliation. Concerns can be raised with the Director of Risk & Compliance, the Chief Executive Officer and the Chair of the Board of Trustees.
  • Employee code of conduct – this sets out the behaviours we expect from colleagues when representing the Charity during their daily activities. As such we expect them to act with integrity and in an ethical manner.
  • Recruitment policy – all colleagues, and Trustees, are recruited through a selection process that is carried out fairly and consistently to take into account equal opportunities, best practice and the needs of the Charity. Vigorous checks are completed to ensure colleagues are legally entitled to work in the UK and every colleague is issued with a contract. All staff are paid in excess of the Minimum Wage, and the so called Living Wage. No-one under the legal minimum age for admission to work is employed by the Charity. No staff are employed as volunteers.

Due diligence processes

The Charity has few contracted service providers. The most significant are Prime and Price Waterhouse Coopers (external auditors).We do not believe that there are risk areas where there is a likely potential for slavery. We will however ask these suppliers to inform us whether they meet the prescribed regulation and ensure that our Procurement staff are aware of the regulations and seek information that potential suppliers abide by the relevant regulations.

Approval for this statement

This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and was approved by the Board of Trustees on 18 December 2018.

Name: Chris Stern (Interim Chair of the Board) 

Date: 18 December 2018