This statement has been published in accordance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and outlines the work undertaken by TheWorks.co.uk plc (“The Works” or the “Group”) to prevent modern slavery and human trafficking in its business and supply chains.
Our structure and business
The Works is the UK’s leading family-friendly value retailer of arts & crafts, stationery, toys and books. Our mission is to offer customers a unique and enjoyable shopping experience, built on our core principles of value, variety and quality.
The Group offers its product range through its nationwide network of stores and its e-commerce platform. The Group employs more than 3,800 permanent colleagues.
Our supply chain
The Group relies on and has developed well-established commercial relationships with approximately 500 different suppliers across Europe and Asia for the supply of its merchandise.
The Group’s main distribution and warehousing facilities at Boldmere House, Coleshill, Birmingham, support the entire store estate. The fulfilment of online sales is undertaken on our behalf by a third-party distribution partner, located in Rugby.
We conduct business fairly, ethically and with respect to fundamental human rights. We are fully committed to the prevention of all forms of slavery, forced labour or servitude, child labour and human trafficking, both in our business and supply chains.
The Group provides every colleague with a written contract of employment. We pay every colleague in accordance with the law. We comply with our legal obligations to ensure the health and safety of all colleagues, including in relation to working hours, rest breaks and holidays.
The Works has developed an Ethical Trading Code of Conduct and Human Rights Policy for our partners, manufacturers and suppliers, to ensure that when our customers buy from us, they can be satisfied that the goods have been produced without exploitation and in acceptable and sustainable working conditions.
Our Code of Conduct clearly outlines our social and ethical requirements, which include but are not limited to: Child Labour, Forced Labour, Safety Standards, Health and Hygiene, Associations, Discrimination and Coercion, Working Hours and Wages, and Environmental Impact.
In order to ensure that these standards are achieved, The Works has implemented the following monitoring arrangements:
- We require all suppliers to sign our Terms and Conditions of Purchase which state the supplier has read, understood and conforms to our Code of Conduct. These Terms and Conditions of Purchase must be signed before The Works will place orders.
- We carry out independent monitoring of suppliers using third-party auditing companies having local country knowledge and an understanding of social and ethical requirements. The audits will take place directly in the factories and monitor workplace conditions, interview workers and evaluate operating conditions.
- We will also conduct independent product testing as part of our Product Surveillance Test Programme.
If a factory fails to have reached an acceptable standard or there is any evidence of child labour or forced labour as described in the Modern Slavery legislation, the factory will be delisted and all orders will be cancelled.
Our commitment and further steps
We are committed to developing long-term relationships with suppliers who share our commitment to eradicating slavery and human trafficking and whose business practices are responsible and ethical.
In support of this we will continue to take all reasonable steps to develop our supply chain management procedures and our supplier audit programme to give assurance to our stakeholders that we take our commitment seriously.
Approved and adopted by the Board of TheWorks.co.uk plc on 30 March 2023.
Chief Executive Officer