The IET runs its activities with integrity. Modern slavery is a complex and multi-faceted crime and tackling it requires all of us to play a part. The IET is committed to preventing acts of modern slavery and human trafficking from occurring within its business and supply chain and to improving our practices to combat slavery and human trafficking.
The Modern Slavery Act 2015 requires UK organisations with an annual turnover of £36m or more to report on the steps they are taking to ensure that modern slavery is not taking place in its supply chains, and published with a link to the home page on its website. This includes the IET.
The IET is one of the world’s largest engineering institutions with members all over the world. It is a body incorporated by Royal Charter and is registered as a charity with the Charity Commission in England and Wales, and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator. The IET has a UK trading subsidiary, IET Services Limited which carries out non-charitable activities (including sponsorship, venue hire and publishing activities) and has four international subsidiaries to support its charitable activities overseas, IET USA, Inc, Institution of Engineering and Technology (India), IET Engineering & Technology (Beijing) Consultancy Ltd, IET Engineering and Technology Holdings Ltd (Hong Kong).
The IET’s charitable objects and purposes are as set out in section 3 of its Royal Charter. The IET is working to engineer a better world by inspiring, informing and influencing our members, engineers and technicians and all those impacted by the work of engineers. It does this through various channels including publications, events, conferences, networking and advice. At the time this statement was approved, the IET has 155,000 members across 150 countries.
The IET has offices in the UK, China, Hong Kong, India and the USA. In 2020, it had a global income of approximately £52.5m and in 2020 employed an average of 670 people worldwide. Its activities are supported by over 4,000 volunteers worldwide. The IET recognises the risks of modern slavery are higher in some parts of the world in which it operates membership and other activities and takes these risks very seriously. The IET works with its subsidiaries and international partners to ensure that modern slavery is not present in its operations and activities.
The IET’s Supply Chain
In order to deliver its activities, the IET works with a range of suppliers, including publishing services, software services, catering and facilities management, and professional services.
The IET has an Anti-Slavery Policy in place and offers guidance on whistleblowing on its website at https://www.theiet.org/membership/professionalism-and-ethics/professional-ethics-resources/whistleblowing-resources/ as well as having a staff policy on whistleblowing. We also have a comprehensive Procurement Manual in place which sets out a procurement framework designed to ensure that modern slavery is not present within the IET’s business.
Actions to minimise the risk of Slavery
The IET takes a multifaceted approach, which includes:
In 2016, the IET requested that its suppliers confirm the measures they had in place to combat slavery and human trafficking.
In 2016-2019, contracts with significant new suppliers, or new suppliers in sectors or countries where the risk of slavery is higher, include clauses regarding anti-slavery measures.
During 2020 the IET requested via our procurement policy and forms that all contracts must include anti-slavery statements.
In 2019 the IET employed a dedicated Property and Procurement Manager whose role includes overseeing the supplier process as part of its ongoing commitment to improving processes.
In 2020 the IET signed a significant contract for the refurbishment of its main office, Futures Place (formerly Michael Faraday House). Anti-Slavery commitments were included within that contract and there will be regular site inspections to monitor working practices on site.
In 2020 the IET undertook a risk assessment to identify areas of its supply chain which might be susceptible to slavery or human trafficking. The risk assessment considered both geographic and sector risk. It identified that as regards its operations and supply chains, catering and other services at its venues represented a risk, as did the use of certain outsourced services in India.
In 2020 we reviewed our outsourced IT to ensure adequate anti-slavery processes were in place.
Our recruitment practices help prevent the risk of modern slavery within our organisation. Our employment agreements and policies are managed locally, based on global templates and principles but adapted for the relevant local context and applicable law.
Some of the other recruitment measures which the IET has in place include:
- Conducting vetting checks of prospective recruit before offer of employment given and a police and reference check prior to start date (double-stage process);
- Conducting regular salary reviews to ensure that staff get paid a living wage in the countries it operates in, and benchmarking salaries to ensure that they remain competitive in the sector;
- Checking, but not withholding, identity documents and rights to work documentation;
- Providing information on workers’ rights in a language they can understand;
- Not allowing: fines levied to be passed onto employees, for workers to be charged finders’ fees, and not deducting accommodation or transport costs from staff salaries.
Continuous review and risk mitigation
The IET recognises the need to continually assess the risks of slavery or human trafficking. The IET also recognises that there may be gaps in visibility of supply chains and limitations in the tools used to identify risks. Addressing these is a complex task and is under continuous review to develop an effective framework . The IET recognises the need for modern slavery training across the organisation to widen awareness.
As a result of the pandemic the IET is continuously reviewing it procedures and risk assessment and will be assessing whether there are any new or increased modern slavery risks, and whether any re-prioritisation of previously identified risks in our operations and supply chain needs to occur.
To date, the IET has not found any instances of modern slavery in its operations or supply chain.
This statement was approved by the Board of Trustees on 4 February 2021.