Human rights

How businesses consider human rights has gained greater prominence in recent years. It features regularly in current political discourse about public trust in business behaviour and in investors’ demand for increased transparency of Environmental Social and Governance performance. The two are related – lack of disclosure is a gap in the trust narrative.

Our Human Rights Policy (PDF 160 KB opens in new window) demonstrates our commitment to protecting the human rights of our employees and those working on our behalf in our supply chain.

We convened a cross-company working group to draft the policy statement, and identify and assess human rights risks and potential impacts on our employees, customers, suppliers and communities. This group identified our salient human rights issues as access to clean water, data protection and privacy, health and safety, and modern slavery.

We recognise that the modern slavery landscape is dynamic. As the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath emerge we need to be vigilant in our approach to make sure it is resilient to emerging issues. Over the past year our focus has been on updating our approach to responsible procurement including updating our responsible procurement principles, reviewing and automating our commercial risk identification process and applying this to our partners and strategic suppliers. We are committed to building on our actions and improving our processes, training and policies with a view to both eradicate the possibility of exploitation within our supply chain. Our progress over the last 12 months can be found in our Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement for 2021 (PDF 2,158 KB opens in a new window).

To date, we have not identified any human rights abuses within our own operations nor our supply chain and so no remediation actions have been required. However, as we cannot guarantee that they aren’t present in some form, we’ve mapped our human rights risks against our corporate risk register and manage them within this framework. In addition, our supply chain modern slavery risk management plan is detailed in the Statement.

Previous Slavery and Human Trafficking Statements:

Salient issues and vulnerable groups mapping

  • Access to clean water

    Access to clean water

    Employees

    Our purpose is to provide great water and more for the North West. Providing great water means delivering our core water, wastewater and customer services, reliably and to the highest quality.

    Contract labour
    Local communities
    Children
    Migrant labour
    Indigenous people We are not aware of any of our employees, contract labour nor local communities identifying as Indigenous.
  • Data protection & privacy

    Data protection & privacy

    Employees Data Protection Policy
    Contract labour
    • Agency Worker Policy
    • Fixed-Term Worker Policy
    Local communities
    • Customer Data Protection Policy
    • Privacy Policy
    Children / Migrant labour

    Not applicable

    Indigenous people We are not aware of any of our employees, contract labour nor local communities identifying as Indigenous
  • Health & safety

    Health & safety

    Employees Health, Safety & Wellbeing Policy
    Contract labour Contractors Health & Safety Charter
    Local communities

    Health, Safety & Wellbeing Policy

    Children / Migrant labour

    Not applicable

    Indigenous people We are not aware of any of our employees, contract labour nor local communities identifying as Indigenous
  • Modern slavery

    Modern slavery

    Employees

    Our stringent employment checks and various internal policies guaranteeing and protecting employee rights help ensure that human trafficking does not occur within our own operations

    Contract labour

    Irrespective of the applicable legal obligations we expect all suppliers to adhere to the overriding principles and ethos of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and to mitigate modern slavery risk throughout their supply chain.

    Local communities Other statements in this column apply here

    Children / Migrant labour

    As a highly regulated UK utility operating in North West England only, our use of stringent employment checks means that it is highly unlikely that child nor migrant trafficking has occurred within our own operations, as well as a result of them
    Indigenous people We are not aware of any of our employees, contract labour nor local communities identifying as Indigenous