Modern Slavery Statement - FY23
This Statement is made in accordance with section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and was approved by the Board of Directors of Future plc on 7 February 2024.
Under the Modern Slavery Act 2015, commercial organisations carrying on a business in the UK with an annual turnover exceeding £36 million are required to publish an annual slavery and human trafficking statement setting out the company’s efforts in the financial year to eradicate modern slavery from its business or supply chain. This statement for the year ended 30 September 2023 covers Future plc and each of its subsidiaries in the United Kingdom listed below (together, “Future”)1. We also require our employees working within Future’s international entities, also listed below, to comply with our policies relating to modern slavery and human trafficking.
Future Publishing Limited
Future US LLC
Future is a global platform for specialist media with scalable diversified brands across online, magazines, events and video. We pride ourselves on the heritage of our brands and loyalty of our communities. We connect people to their passions through the high-quality content we create, the innovative technology we pioneer and the experiences we deliver. In addition, Future is a digital media and affiliate marketing specialist that connects consumers with money saving offers from the world’s leading brands.
1 The list has been edited from previous years’ statements, as some subsidiaries did not meet one or more of the requirements for inclusion. Future operates Go.Compare, a leading UK financial services, utilities and home services comparison website.
OUR SUPPLY CHAINS
Our supply chains include freelance content suppliers; freelance video production crew; print and digital suppliers; logistics suppliers; cover item suppliers; subscription fulfilment and magazine distribution and mailing services; venues for live events; large and small technology suppliers based in the UK and worldwide; IT and other office equipment; professional services from our lawyers, accountants and other advisors; and office cleaning and other office facilities services.
Future actively promotes ethical business practices and policies that protect its staff and is committed to ensuring, as far as possible, that suppliers adhere to the same high standards of ethics that it embraces.
ACTS TO ADDRESS RISK
Future operates a zero-tolerance approach to slavery and human trafficking. Future is not aware of any slavery or human trafficking in any part of our business or supply chain, and no issues were raised during the year ended 30 September 2023. Therefore, and taking into account the nature of Future’s business, we consider the overall risk level among our supply chains continues to be low.
Future remains committed to running its business responsibly and, in order to maintain visibility across its supply chains, Future utilises a Supplier Code of Conduct to address, among other things, issues of child labour, compulsory labour and human trafficking. Where not already addressed, additional wording to cover Future’s anti-slavery policy and ensure adherence to the Code is included in commercial agreements, either when Future enters into contracts with new suppliers and/or when contracts with existing suppliers are renewed.
Future is committed to only working with suppliers who take their obligations towards modern slavery as seriously as we do and who will adhere to the tenets of our Supplier Code of Conduct. Future requires certain suppliers to complete a Modern Slavery Supplier Questionnaire as part of its due diligence procedures in relation to existing and potential suppliers. The results of each questionnaire are reviewed and stored securely upon their return.
Future regularly undertakes a review of its current ethical systems. As part of these reviews the entirety of each supply chain is examined. For example, freight forwarders and wholesalers, which are part of the Magazine Distribution chain, have been considered. As part of this consideration during the past year Future introduced contractual wording expressly requiring a major UK wholesaler to comply with the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and our Supplier Code of Conduct. Prior
to this Future conducted an audit of internal employees who manage supply
chains to assess steps taken to ensure modern slavery is not present in the supply
chain and locate any risk areas. Future plans to conduct this exercise again in
2024 to ensure that the company’s Modern Slavery Supplier Questionnaire and
Supplier Code of Conduct continue to be utilised correctly by the business and are
complied with by suppliers in order to help keep modern slavery out of our supply
The highest risk of modern slavery in our supply chains has been judged to be most likely among the suppliers of the cover items we include with some of our titles (for example, calendars, posters, etc) , who use sourcing companies based in the Far East. However, these sourcing companies carry out extensive auditing and site inspections of their suppliers and factories in this region to monitor the risk of modern slavery. Future maintains frequent contact with such suppliers and has no concerns with this segment of its supply chain.
Another potential area of risk highlighted by the audit was among video production crews and video contributors who work with Future’s video production branch, Future Studios. Future Studios works with production suppliers and contributors across the world potentially exposing this area of the business to greater risk. To address the risk and where not already present, Future intends to introduce wording into all Future Studios contracts requiring suppliers to comply with anti-slavery legislation and to ensure suppliers complete Future’s Modern Slavery Supplier Questionnaire
POLICY AND EMPLOYEE TRAINING
Future focuses on effective communication, training and resourcing of its employees to shape the environment and set the tone in assessing, preventing and mitigating risk and working to influence and remedy modern slavery in its supply chains and organisation.
Future’s Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy, which was introduced in May 2018, is reviewed and circulated annually together with ‘Warning Signs’ guidance, to all Future staff worldwide in order to increase awareness of this issue and influence positive behaviour within our organisation. The Warning Signs guidance helps staff identify warning signs which may indicate someone is a victim of slavery or
human trafficking. These resources are made available to all employees via Future’s online People & Culture Hub (the “Hub”). The policy and Warning Signs guidance was most recently reviewed in August 2023 with no material changes made.
Future intends to circulate the Supplier Code of Conduct, Modern Slavery Supplier Questionnaire and Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy in February 2024 to ensure new joiners (including those who joined following acquisition) are aware of these resources and their responsibility to help prevent modern slavery within Future and its supply chains.
All employees who join Future following acquisitions are also provided with information regarding the Hub, including instructions as to where to access Future’s policies. In addition, modern slavery training is provided annually.
Training and guidance for Future employees emphasises the importance of ethical conduct, the principles of our Supplier Code of Conduct and the importance of undertaking due diligence in this area before appointing a supplier.
This Statement is made in accordance with section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and was approved by the Board of Directors of Future plc on 7 February 2024