Modern Slavery Statement 2023

dss+ firmly upholds the conduct of the UK Modern Slavery Act of 2015, to abolish all forms of modern slavery.

Our firm's support and respect for internationally proclaimed human rights is outlined in our Human Rights Policy which integrates with and is aligned to, the Modern Slavery Act. Accordingly, our policy prohibits the use of child or forced labour in our business and any involvement with organizations that support prohibitive labour practices or human trafficking. Our Human Rights Policy works in conjunction with our Code of Conduct and our DEI Policy to provide a holistic framework to uphold our commitment to ending prohibited labour practices and human trafficking.

Our commitment to the elimination of modern slavery is aligned with our values-driven business, as we consistently aim to promote respect for all people, with a strong intolerance to physical violence, threats, corporal punishment, mental coercion, verbal abuse, disrespectful behaviour, bullying or harassment of any kind.

Further, our Human Rights Policy, and thus, our commitment to ending modern slavery, extends not only to our internal employees, but to the organisations with which we choose to work with. The commitments outlined in our Human Rights Policy, reinforce that we will not collaborate with organisations that are suspected of contravening principles aimed to end modern slavery. dss+ is committed to supporting its clients in their efforts to address modern slavery and child labour in their operations and supply chains. dss+ delivers a range of services to its clients including the development of modern slavery and child labour policies, risk assessments, mitigation strategies and remediation.

dss+ employees are strongly encouraged to raise concerns through the dss+ Ethics Platform, so that any complaints can be reviewed and addressed. dss+ investigates any potential human rights breach it becomes aware of and seeks to appropriately remedy or mitigate those breaches.

The commitments outlined in this statement fall under the governance and scope of our Human Rights Policy and thus will be submitted to a regular review process with the provision of updates based on continual assessment of progress against our commitment to ending modern slavery.

Click to view the dss+ Human Rights Policy

At dss+ our goal is to help organisations Protect, Transform and Sustain what they care for: their people, their assets, their communities, and the competitiveness of their company for future generations. People and communities are therefore at the heart of our work, which is why we are committed to endorsing all human rights as defined by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the International Labour Organization Conventions.

This Policy aims to raise awareness and promote Human Rights, prevent and mitigate potential impacts and Human Rights violations and, where necessary, remedy them. We believe that dss+ has the opportunity to positively impact society through responsible business conduct. With our commitment, we aim for sustainable progress, to make our company and the communities in which we operate richer, more inclusive and more resilient.

This Policy applies to everyone, including the dss+ Board, our employees, vendors and external contractors or third parties acting on behalf of dss+. This Policy must be read and considered together with the Code of Conduct and other applicable company policies.

Our Human Rights Policy

Our Board and our employees are committed to ensuring that we respect and protect human rights. Our commitment is in line with the International Bill of Rights and the International Treaties of the UN thus recognising our responsibility to:

  • Avoid causing or contributing to adverse human rights impacts through our own activities, and address such impacts when they occur.
  • Actively prevent and mitigate adverse human rights impacts that are directly linked to our services through our business relationships.
  • As a global business, we will comply with local laws and regulations in all locations where we operate, and cooperate with the relevant authorities to respect and promote human rights.
  • Ensure that the organisations we collaborate and work with also respect these human rights principles.
  • Where we suspect a stakeholder’s operations are in violation of human rights we will advise the company and determine if we continue working with them. Where possible, we would offer to help organisations remedy any potential human rights violations that they may be involuntarily incurring through their operations. As such, where appropriate, we would seek to initially engage in dialogue with such an organisation to highlight our concerns and discuss a potential action plan to target the issues identified.

In alignment with our Code of Conduct, and given the nature of the work we conduct at dss+, we underline the following non-exhaustive list of human rights which we promote:

  • Labour rights — The right of all people to just and favourable terms of employment. We acknowledge that Modern slavery is both a crime and a violation of fundamental human rights, and we are committed to the elimination of all forms of modern slavery and to the international effort to abolish child labour. We uphold the right to reasonable working hours and the right to just remuneration, as well as the values of freedom of association and collective bargaining, recognising the right of individuals to interact and organize among themselves to collectively express, promote, pursue and defend common interests.
  • Health and safety — The right of all people to enjoy a physically and psychologically safe work environment, as well as the promotion of well-being and access to healthcare support for individuals. Moreover, we are committed to workplace security by ensuring a workplace free from violence, harassment, intimidation, and with a zero-tolerance policy to any direct or indirect actions that may jeopardise this right. Further we ensure our employees have access to grievance mechanisms through formal channels, dss+ Ethics Platform and processes that are available to all.
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion — The right of all people to be respected and valued for their differences, with equitable opportunities and outcomes, in an inclusive environment where all can thrive.
  • Respect for community rights and local communities, as well as of the right to territorial and self-determination rights of indigenous people and traditional communities. This includes commitment to supporting prevention mechanisms for bribery and any other forms of corruption and intimidation for access to land or resources held by local communities.
  • A clean and sustainable environment – The right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment as well as the protection of and access to natural resources. We are firmly committed to preserving the environment for all humans, through the work we do, as well as through our own business operations.
  • Data protection of employees and clients – we recognise and promote the right to privacy of personal data.

Our Commitment

dss+ is committed to upholding and integrating this Human Rights Policy into the way we work. We are committed to respecting these values in every country in which we and our clients operate, taking into consideration local cultural, social, and economic diversities, and requiring each of our stakeholders to conduct themselves in accordance with these commitments.

dss+ is committed to:

  1. Actively demonstrating and upholding human rights in the way we work. If an employee believes there has been a Human Rights Policy violation by fellow employees, contractors, clients or vendors, they are requested to report it to any member of the global leadership team, through the dss+ Ethics Platform for a review to be completed.

  2. Establish relationships with companies that share the same principles and values, which implies:
    • Assessing prospective clients on their human rights track record, including on the existence of a Human Rights Policy in their organisation, and any actions they may have taken to uphold human rights in their operations.
    • Encouraging our clients to adopt the similar standards, and to apply Human Rights principles in their organisation.
    • Addressing situations and deciding on the possible options to address, when a client is involuntarily incurring human rights violations through their operations.
  3. Implementation and Monitoring - Annual reviews of this policy and provision of updates regarding its implementation based on continual assessment of progress against our Human Rights policy and initiatives.

This Policy shall be communicated to all internal and external stakeholders. Learning and training initiatives to support people leaders, employees and contractors on how we demonstrate respect for human rights in the way we work, will be developed.