Swansway Group: Modern Slavery Act Statement

We are a family owned business, committed to ensuring that there is no modern slavery or human trafficking in our supply chains or in any part of our business.

Swansway Garages Limited, known as Swansway Motor Group, is a private, family owned business, operating motor retail dealerships across the North West, West Midlands and Cumbria. The group employees around 1200 people across 28 sites. Our principal activity is the sale, hire, service, financing and leasing of new and used motor vehicles. We operate in the UK.

We operate in partnership with some of the largest automotive brands in the world; these include Audi, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volkswagen, Honda, SEAT, and Peugeot, Jeep, Citroen and Abarth.

We are a family owned and managed business, committed to ensuring that there is no modern slavery or human trafficking in our supply chains or in any part of our business. We are also committed to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business relationships and to implementing and enforcing effective systems and controls to ensure slavery and human trafficking is not taking place anywhere in our supply chains.

Our own employees work for us on transparent and compliant terms and we respect their equal opportunities rights.

Swansway Garages has centralised functions based at Head office which includes Human Resources, Finance, Purchasing, Marketing and Payroll and this allows us to exercise control over areas of concern as detailed in the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

As a result of the franchise nature of our business, a large proportion of our supply chain relationships are with a number of large multinational vehicle manufacturers. The contracts that we have in place with these manufacturers contain specific policy clauses on the modern slavery act to ensure all businesses conduct their operations in line with the legislation.

We also have policies and practices in place to ensure human rights and modern slavery instances do not take place within our business which include our Business Code of Conduct, Whistleblowing Policy, Grievance Procedure and Harassment and Bullying Policy. This information is provided to all new employees on joining the business and is available on the Swansway Intranet. These subjects also form a large part of the new monthly Group inductions that are held at Head Office.

Swansway Garages will investigate thoroughly any claim or indication that areas of our business or supply chains are engaging in human trafficking or slave labour. Any such claims that come to the attention of Swansway Garages will be reported to senior management in accordance with our whistle blowing policy. The board of directors will be informed of any issues including details of the investigations, the findings and the outcome so that remedial action if required can be resourced without delay.

Over the past twelve months, we have:

  • Implemented a new applicant tracking system which will minimise the risk of employing individuals who are subject to forced labour through more robust right to work checks;
  • Reviewed our on-boarding and induction processes to now include modern slavery and what it means in a business sense and ensuring that all employees are aware of what to do if they have concerns in this area;
  • Re-launched our Company intranet site, making it more accessible to all employees, increasing visibility of important policies concerned with modern slavery;
  • Updated our on boarding process to ensure that new employees know where to go and who to talk to should they have concerns regarding modern slavery;
  • Reviewed and improved the strength of our payroll practices ensuring that every single employee receives at least national minimum wage each month.
  • Rolled out a new online payroll facility to give all employees access to their wage information in real-time alongside a dedicated payroll query provision.
  • Reviewed all employees’ right to work status across the group to safeguard against modern slavery within the business.
  • Continue to create a programme in joint responsibility with our third-party suppliers to ensure that there is no modern slavery within our extended supply chains; this includes the education of smaller local companies who provide the group with a service, but do not need to publish a modern slavery act statement.

This statement is made in accordance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015 which requires businesses to disclose publicly the steps taken to pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes our Group’s slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ended 31 December 2019.