Modern Slavery Statement
Irwell Valley Homes (IVH) is committed to preventing slavery and human trafficking across all our activities and to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, that our activities and those of our supply chains are free from slavery and human trafficking.
This statement sets out the actions of IVH to understand the modern slavery potential risks relating to our business and to take steps to prevent slavery or human trafficking across our business and supply chains.
Irwell Valley Homes (IVH) is the name of the Group which comprises of the following organisations:
• Irwell Valley Housing Association Ltd. – Registered as a Community Benefit Society with the FCA. Registration number: 20684R. Also registered with the RSH – L0061
• Irwell Valley Developments Ltd (IVDL) – Company Number: 03923984
The Registered Office for both organisations is First Floor, The Soapworks, Colgate Lane, Salford, M5 3LZ
A registered provider of social housing since 1973, Irwell Valley Housing Association (IVHA) owns and provides housing management related services to around 7,700 homes across Greater Manchester and Lancashire. The Association has an annual turnover of £38m and employs around 280 people.
IVH’s business is primarily centred around the following services:
• Housing and tenancy management services (to a variety of tenure types including general needs, over 50s, supported, shared ownership, affordable and market rent)
• The letting of properties
• The development of new homes
• Repair and maintenance of our housing stock and neighbourhoods
• Rent and financial inclusion advice
• Tenancy sustainment support
• Supporting vulnerable client groups (which includes but is not limited to those with mental or physical disabilities and those suffering from domestic abuse)
IVDL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Irwell Valley Housing Association Ltd. IVDL is a non- asset holding entity – established to construct and develop new properties on behalf of the parent.
From our procurement and supply chain practices, through to our rehousing, housing management and repairs activities, IVH colleagues are in the position where they could identify possible instances of modern slavery or human trafficking. Therefore, we have policies, procedures, and systems in place around this.
• The Board approved our Modern Slavery Statement.
• The Strategic Leadership Team is responsible for overseeing our anti-slavery activities, led by the Chief Executive and the Company Secretary.
• Andrew White (Head of Community and Independent Living) is the association’s named Safeguarding Lead.
• Individual Managers are responsible for the day-to-day implementation of the statement and its related policies and procedures, ensuring that their teams are aware of their responsibilities in making our activities against slavery and human trafficking effective.
• All colleagues are responsible for the prevention, detection and reporting of any instances or concerns of modern slavery. Colleagues are encouraged to raise any concerns at the earliest possible stage and systems are in place to report this.
• All colleagues are responsible for completing mandatory training on Modern Slavery and Adult Safeguarding every year and managers are responsible for checking that training has been completed.
Expectations of suppliers and our supply chain
IVH is committed to ensuring that our contractors, suppliers, and supply chain follow our high standards and expectations and that there shall be no modern slavery or human trafficking associated within our supply chain.
IVH is opposed to slavery and human trafficking, and we want to do what we can to combat such abuses across our business and supply chains.
We will always act ethically and with the highest standards of integrity, quality, probity, openness, and accountability in all our business operations and relationships.
We will develop, implement, and enforce processes and controls that seek to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place within our business or in our supply chains. We will not engage with any business knowingly involved in slavery or human trafficking.
IVH is committed to:
• Raising awareness of this issue amongst our suppliers and making sure they take appropriate steps to ensure that there is no slavery or human trafficking in their business or supply chains.
• Asking new and existing suppliers to declare that they are not involved in slavery or human trafficking and are fully compliant with the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
• Monitoring our business and our supply chains to ensure we are free from slavery and human trafficking.
• Acting promptly where a compliance breach has been identified and feeding back lessons learnt.
IVH have introduced new contract management software. This includes a suite of key performance indicators linked to IVH contracts which will further enhance the assurance and awareness around modern slavery as a reportable contractual obligation.
What we expect from our supply chain:
1. To be aware of their responsibilities under the Modern Slavery Act 2015, which can be found here.
2. To establish clear lines of responsibility for detection, recording and reporting slavery and human trafficking concerns.
3. To ensure that their staff receive training on the Modern Slavery Act 2015 to help them identify, record, report and act upon any instances or suspicions.
4. To declare that they are not involved in slavery or human trafficking and are fully compliant with the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
Due diligence is undertaken when taking on new suppliers or contractors. We regularly review the performance and rating of our approved contractors and suppliers as part of our contract management process which includes KPIs around Modern Slavery.
IVH requires all colleagues and contractors acting on our behalf to raise any concerns or suspicions of incidents of modern slavery or human trafficking. In line with our Safeguarding Policy and procedures, colleagues can register any concerns with management for further investigation and review and have access to a mobile app that raises an action if any safeguarding concerns are raised. These generate an action for Community Co-ordinators to investigate further.
In the event of a serious concern requiring an immediate emergency response, colleagues may also contact the Police direct by calling 999. They may also contact the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121700 or Crimestoppers on 0800555111.
Colleagues may also raise any concerns directly with the Chief Executive, any member of the Strategic Leadership Team, the Company Secretary, or the Safeguarding Lead.
We report all safeguarding concerns to the Board annually.
Training and awareness
All colleagues must complete mandatory training on Modern Slavery and Adult Safeguarding every year to ensure that they are aware of signs of modern slavery and human trafficking and what to do if they suspect this may be happening.
Customer facing teams must undertake further training around adult safeguarding – what to look out for and how to report this.
All colleagues are responsible for ensuring their training is up to date, managers are responsible for checking that training has been completed via IVHs HR system.
IVH manages risk according to its Risk Management Framework. Risks are managed on an ongoing basis – with risks being reviewed on a quarterly basis by the Audit & Risk Committee and the Board at least six monthly.
Our Risk Management is subject to external review and scrutiny – including our Internal Auditors. Our risks are also externally reviewed to ensure that they are appropriate to the work of the Association and are in line with the expectations of our Regulator.
We acknowledge that through our housing related services, employment, and procurement, we must have adequate controls in place. Therefore, specific anti-slavery measures are built into our controls for risks relating to governance, reputation and safeguarding. These are monitored by risk owners using our risk management software.
Our aims for 2023/24 are:
1. Raising awareness of modern slavery and human trafficking across our business areas. We will do this by:
• Ensuring all colleagues complete relevant e-learning and training.
• Reviewing processes and procedures for the reporting of concerns.
• Adding modern slavery to the schedule of colleague communications.
• Publishing information for customers on our website and social media and sharing information via rent statements about how to raise any concerns.