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Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement

The Leverhulme Trust (the ‘Trust’) is strongly opposed to slavery and human trafficking and has voluntarily prepared this statement as it believes it has a duty to disclose publicly the steps it is taking to prevent modern slavery within the organisation and beyond. The Trust recognises that slavery and trafficking is a real issue in our society and it has a responsibility to be alert of the risks.

The Trust strives to operate to the highest ethical standards in all its work, business dealings and wider relationships

1.    Organisational structure an supply chains

The Leverhulme Trust is a charitable incorporated organisation, registered charity number: 1159154, and was constituted as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation in the United Kingdom on 11 November 2014. It derives from the Will of the First Viscount Leverhulme (the “Founder”), who died in 1925. He left a proportion of his shares in Lever Brothers Limited upon trust and specified that the beneficiaries of the resulting income should include certain trade charities and the provision of scholarships for such purposes of research and education, being valid charitable purposes, as the Trustees might decide. The shareholding subsequently became associated with Unilever plc.

The Trust activities are overseen by the Trust Board, primarily recruited from the highest levels of Unilever. Day to day management is under the leadership of the Trust’s Director. The Trust’s supply chain – staff and services provided to assist with the management and administration of the Trust – involves very few direct partners, contractors and suppliers, with nearly all being based in the UK. The vast majority of the Trust’s activity, however, is funding research through UK universities.

2.    Policies in relation to slavery and human trafficking

The Trust’s recruitment and human resources policies and processes are aligned to those of Unilever plc, with which all Trust staff are jointly employed and paid a living wage, and comply with legislation and embrace best practice, including checks on the right of employees, agency workers, contractors and volunteers to work within the UK. The Trust believes that these policies and processes would identify trafficked or coerced individuals directly employed or engaged by us.

The employment procedures and Code of Business Principles and Code Policies procedures encourage our people to report any welfare concerns with anyone in the Trust and/or Unilever.

3.    Due diligence processes

The Trust has looked at all its suppliers, assessing the key ones in more detail to ensure that they have appropriate policies in place to minimise the risk of slavery and human trafficking in their business. 

The Trust incorporates responsible investment best practices into investment decision making. It believes that by engaging with a broad set of extra-financial considerations – including environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues – the long-term financial performance of the portfolio can be sustained with potential for improvement. The Trust’s approach is to operate a set of principles that reflect its values and to apply them with a measure of pragmatism and to ensure it remains cognisant of changes and trends in investment markets and in society at large. It seeks impact through its grant giving for academic scholarship. The investment of its funds to provide these scholarships means that investment decisions are predominately driven by economic return.

4.    Risk assessment and management

The Trust considers the risk of slavery or human trafficking within its supply chain to be low. The Trust strives to continuously improve its practices and to support sustainable and ethical procurement and to keep its effectiveness under review.

All relevant policies are reviewed to reflect the Trust’s commitment to the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

5.    Key performance indicators to measure effectiveness of steps being taken

The Trust consider due diligence reviews for new suppliers as a key performance indicator to measure effectiveness in ensuring that any risks in relation to modern slavery and human trafficking are identified, monitored and mitigated within its supply chains. 

6.    Training on modern slavery and trafficking

The Trust tries to ensure that adequate information and training is provided to all of its staff, contractors or visitors on all relevant matters. New joiners attend an induction session which includes information and training on the Trust’s and Unilever’s Human Resources policies and managers are assisted by and kept up to date with policy changes from Unilever HR. The Trust aligns itself with Unilever’s HR policies as part of the joint employment agreement that exists between the two organisations. 

7.    Responsibility

The Director and the Trust Board have responsibility for this statement, the implementation of policies, risk assessments, due diligence and training. This statement will be reviewed and updated as appropriate.

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