Our Modern Slavery Statement 2019
Foundation for Credit Counselling (of Wade House, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8NG) trades as StepChange Debt Charity and StepChange Debt Charity Scotland.
A registered charity no.1016630 and SC046263, 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 ensuring that slavery and human trafficking are not taking place anywhere in the Charity or its supply chains. We strive to continuously review the way in which we obtain our services and how each supplier relationship is managed, in order to keep our supply chains robust.
As the leading debt advice charity in the UK, we have in excess of 1,500 colleagues working in 8 locations across England, Wales and Scotland. Our colleagues are largely directly employed and are generally not in any category that could be seen as vulnerable to modern slavery, therefore our key focus is to ensure that we have adequate policies and due diligence procedures for our key suppliers.
We are funded by voluntary donations from creditors and others and grants from public bodies and are governed by an independent Board of Trustees chaired by John Griffith-Jones. The Trustees are collectively responsible for delivering the long-term success of the Charity with the Executive team responsible for day to day management.
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 (‘Speak Up’) policy – we encourage colleagues to report any concerns without the fear of retaliation. Concerns can be raised through an independent third party, to 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. 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 team is 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 03 December 2019.
Name: John Griffith-Jones (Chair of the Board)
Date: 03 December 2019