The Modern Slavery Act 2015 (“act”) was introduced to help eradicate slavery, forced labour and human trafficking in the operations and supply chains of companies. This statement is made pursuant to Section 54, Part 6 of the Act and includes information about the Jisc group, its own operations and supply chains, and how we are approaching the eradication of slavery and human trafficking within our business.
Jisc is committed to preventing and mitigating exploitation, bribery and corruption. We will not accept modern slavery, forced labour and human trafficking anywhere within our operations or supply chain. Our commitment is set out in further detail in our Modern Slavery policy (pdf).
Jisc group structure
The Jisc group includes Jisc as the parent company with seven subsidiary companies:
Higher Education Careers Services Unit  (HECSU – joined the group as a result of a merger 1 May 2020)
Graduate Prospects Limited  (joined the group as a result of the HECSU merger 1 May 2020)
Jisc is the only company in the Jisc group which is required to produce a slavery and human trafficking statement, though the risk areas and activities outlined in this statement apply equally to all companies in the Jisc group.
What Jisc does
We are the UK’s digital agency for lifelong learning and research. Our vision is for the UK to be world leaders in technology for education and research.
We deliver e-infrastructure services, solutions to enable education and research, advice and guidance and new solutions through research and development. Our work is UK wide, providing services and support to universities, colleges, schools, research institutes and many other national institutions.
We are a membership organisation, working to deliver considerable collective digital advantage, financial savings and efficiencies for our members, ensuring these benefits are sustained and enhanced and to do all this as affordably, efficiently and as cost effectively as possible.
We directly employ more than 870 staff across the UK, as a combination of office-based staff and home-workers. We are confident that our own operations are free of modern slavery, forced labour and human trafficking. Colleagues across the Jisc group work under comparable terms and conditions that are in accordance with UK employment law and we are an accredited Living Wage Employer.
The move to home-based working as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is very likely to result in a more permanent shift to more regular home-based working for colleagues.
We have a range of employment policies in place which ensure that our employees are fairly treated, supported, remunerated and understand the behaviour expected by the organisation. These are listed in our modern slavery policy and are available on request.
Supply chains and risk areas
We have a team of procurement specialists managing procurement processes. The suppliers we use to deliver our activities, and our own operations, are primarily EU based.
We contract with a range of suppliers, from large international IT companies to local cleaning and catering companies. Companies providing manual or lower skilled workers to provide services are likely to be at greater risk of exploitation.
We also create, negotiate and have access to a series of frameworks - umbrella agreements put in place with a group of suppliers who fit certain criteria and in accordance with the EU public contracts regulations 2015. These frameworks are available to our members, who rely on us to have completed modern slavery compliance checks on suppliers.
As part of our approach to maintaining a supply chain that is free of modern slavery, forced labour and human trafficking, we require all commercial organisations bidding for Jisc work to provide a copy or link to their anti-slavery statement.
Where such a statement does not exist (for example, where the bidder does not meet the Act’s criteria for a statement to be produced), we require a statement from the bidder confirming that it is committed to and acts according to the moral principles of the Act.
Through our standard contract we require suppliers to report any breach or suspected breach of the Act associated with our contract to us immediately.
We reserve our rights to terminate contracts with suppliers in the event that there is evidence of non-compliance with the Act.
Training and awareness raising
Awareness raising amongst our employees is key to ensuring that risk areas are recognised and employees know what to do if they become aware of any concern associated with exploitation.
All staff are required to complete a mandatory training course on our training platform. The Modern Slavery policy and this statement are also actively shared with all staff to help colleagues understand their responsibility as individuals to report behaviour which they believe suggests a breach of the Act.
Provided a mandatory training module on our learning platform for all staff
Maintained our affiliate membership of Electronics Watch, a monitoring organisation to audit the supply chain of technology components
Completed a Cabinet Office Modern Slavery assessment which has helped us identify areas for improvement
Developed a corporate social responsibility strategy in which we have reinforced our commitment to combatting modern slavery.
We have not received any reports of potential or actual breaches of the Act and no procurements or contracts have been terminated as a result of concerns regarding compliance with the Act.
In the coming financial year (to 31 July 2021), we will:
Map our supply chain to better understand where risks to our modern slavery commitments exist and identify areas of higher risk for further review
Identify key performance measures regarding the mitigation of modern slavery in our supply chain
Share our Modern Slavery policy with suppliers and request that it is cascaded to their employees
Launch an active approach to checking compliance with modern slavery policies during contract periods and at completion of contracts
Target colleagues who act as contract managers to complete further training
Continue to raise awareness of the Act within Jisc via our learning platform, presentations at staff meetings and via the Jisc procurement team.
This statement will be made available on the Jisc website via a prominent link from Jisc’s homepage, alongside our Modern Slavery policy. It will, in addition, be provided on request to all those organisations in receipt of Jisc services. This statement will also be referenced in the Jisc trustees’ report and financial statements for 2019-20.
Signed on behalf of the Jisc board under its delegated authority on 21 September 2020::