Modern Slavery Statement
The Financial Times (FT) does not tolerate modern slavery or human trafficking in our organisation or in our supply chain.
Our Code of Conduct, which sets out the standards we expect of all staff, makes clear that we support universal human rights, including equal employment, freedom of speech and of association, and cultural, economic and social well-being. We strongly oppose illegal or inhumane labour practices, including slavery, servitude, forced or compulsory labour and human trafficking. You can read more about this in the Social Responsibility section of our site.
The FT is committed to tackling slavery through the assessment of risk in our supply chain, due diligence on our suppliers, and awareness-raising activities both within the FT and more broadly through our journalism and events.
If you have any queries about this statement or our approach to modern slavery, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our group structure
Financial Times Group Limited is a private limited company incorporated in England and Wales and wholly owned by Nikkei Inc. incorporated in Japan. It is the holding company for the Financial Times group of companies (“FT Group”) with subsidiaries in countries such as USA, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Germany and The Philippines and UK, and smaller editorial operations in a number of other countries. The Financial Times Limited (“FT”), incorporated in England and Wales, is the principal trading entity within FT Group.
FT Group is one of the world’s leading business news and information organisations, publishing a range of titles digitally and in print, and running conferences and events. We have approximately 2,200 staff globally. More detailed information about our business can be found here.
The FT Group management board takes its commitments to preventing modern slavery and protecting human rights very seriously, and has responsibility for producing this statement.
The Legal and Compliance, Internal Audit, HR, Procurement and Communications teams, plus the Senior Management Group and other line managers, have a particular responsibility for ensuring the FT Group and its staff meet these standards, that our workers are protected, and that risks are identified and appropriately mitigated. All staff throughout our organisation have responsibility for adhering to the standards set out in this statement.
Our supply chain
When defining its procurement processes, the FT Procurement team adopted the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) Framework thereby ensuring, where appropriate, that all procurement is conducted in an ethical and sustainable manner.
FT procures many different goods and services from a range of suppliers, the large majority of which are based in advanced OECD countries, mainly UK, USA and in Europe. These include:
- printing, publishing and distribution services for our newspaper and magazines;
- the supply of newsprint, which is mainly from Finland, Sweden and the US;
- the hire of venues on a worldwide basis for our conferences and events;
- the purchase of IT hardware and software;
- facilities services, including travel management and building services for our offices around the world;
- branding and marketing of our products and services;
- recruitment and training;
- customer services;
- professional services of advisors such as lawyers and auditors; and
- freelance editorial staff, including journalists.
Whilst we generally operate in low risk areas, we have identified some areas of risk within our supply chain. This assessment is based on the country risk i.e. suppliers in countries where slavery is more prevalent based on the Global Slavery Index; and the industry risk i.e. some industries in which we operate are more vulnerable to slavery than others.
We consistently work with areas of the business that have been identified as medium risk to establish further steps that we can take, and are taking, to strengthen our approach and to ensure good working practices. This has included in-depth reviews of printing, distribution and our global conferences and events business.
Due diligence on our suppliers
Since 2016 we have worked hard to improve and embed our supply chain risk assessment and due diligence process. Our Procurement Management Application (PMA) ensures due diligence is carried out on all new suppliers logged on the system, allowing us to assess the risks involved in the supply of goods and services. PMA also enables us to complete periodic reviews of due diligence, and take appropriate action particularly where a country or industry risk of slavery exists.
All new suppliers logged through our Procurement Management Application are expected to complete our Modern Slavery Due Diligence Questionnaire. This allows us to make an assessment of risk based on the following criteria:
- location and industry, using data from the Global Slavery Index;
- the stance the supplier takes on modern slavery, including the content of their modern slavery statement and the training the supplier provides to its key staff;
- steps taken to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in their business or supply chains, including whether the supplier is active in any of the highest risk countries or sectors.
This helps us to make appropriate decisions regarding whether, and how, we work with those suppliers.
In addition to this formal due diligence process, our personnel working in medium risk areas, as identified above, are encouraged to maintain close working relationships with their suppliers, including on-site visits to distributors and print sites.
FT has always maintained its editorial independence, allowing us to engage more broadly with this topic through our reporting and to raise awareness of human rights issues including anti-slavery within business.
Over the years we have consistently published articles about slavery covering, for example: slavery in food and agriculture; the prevelance and dangers of online exploitation; forced labour in the UK; tightening standards in supply chains and the importance of responsible investing. In 2015, we wrote extensively about Theresa May’s efforts on the adoption of the Modern Slavery Act in the UK and the steps UK businesses undertook to comply with the Act.
In 2015, our chosen seasonal appeal charity partner was Stop the Traffik – a global coalition which aims to bring an end to human trafficking worldwide. The seasonal appeal included a series of reports and a letter from our editor at the time, Lionel Barber, shining a light on the scale, scope and seriousness of modern slavery and outlining the efforts to make slavery a thing of the past.
Our journalism continues to raise awareness of modern slavery and its prevalence globally. Over the recent years, our journalism has highlighted that modern slavery is a weak link in corporate supply chains and reported on forced labour in the UK. Our most recent coverage on the topic of modern slavery on FT.com can be found here.
Internal awareness raising and training
We believe it is important to ensure our staff understand the issues of modern slavery and our commitments, as a business, to upholding high ethical standards. Our key personnel regularly attend external events to broaden their knowledge and understanding of modern slavery and use this to raise awareness among key teams across the business.
We understand that modern slavery is not a static issue and therefore we are committed to continuing our efforts to raise awareness of the impact of slavery across the globe. We hold annual internal events to coincide with Anti-Slavery Day to raise awareness among staff, as well as rolling out additional workshops and training, both online and face-to-face. This reinforces our continued commitment to act ethically and to meet our obligations to prevent modern slavery.
We have staff based in a number of countries around the world, including the UK and Europe, US, Hong Kong, Philippines and China. We strongly believe our staff should be treated fairly and decently wherever they are based.
Our Code of Conduct applies to all FT staff globally; all staff are required to certify that they have read and understood our Code of Conduct on an annual basis. Our values mean we respect the human rights and dignity of people. We support universal human rights, including equal employment, freedom of speech and of association, and cultural, economic and social well-being. We oppose illegal or inhumane labour practices, including slavery, servitude, forced or compulsory labour and human trafficking.
The Code highlights to staff that FT’s business partners, including suppliers, vendors and distributors, are expected to meet the same high standards as FT when working on our behalf. In addition, our Code requires all staff to report any known or possible violations of laws, regulations or the Code to FT management or using the mechanisms outlined in our Whistleblowing Policy.
Our company policies aim to ensure a fair approach to all of our staff covering areas such as dignity at work, equal opportunities, and anti-discrimination including during recruitment, promotion and performance management. We operate a fair approach to recruitment in all regions and ensure that there is no discrimination either in the application process or once an employee is engaged. We also have favourable policies covering maternity, paternity and shared parental leave, where statutory requirements are always met and in some cases enhanced.
We are committed to paying a fair wage to all employees, always adhering to minimum wage legislation and guidelines. In London we ensure that all employees, including interns, are paid the recommended London Living Wage as a minimum. Our salaries are regularly reviewed in all regions to ensure that all employees are fairly remunerated for the jobs they do. We ensure that staff in all regions have fair working hours which adhere to local legislation and recommended guidelines, and include paid holiday days which meet and often exceed statutory requirements.
Our continued work
FT Group remains committed to our zero tolerance approach to modern slavery and human trafficking in our organisation and in our supply chain. This is our sixth annual statement and sets out the key steps we have taken in the financial year ending 31 December 2020 and provides information about the actions we are planning to take during 2021.
Since our last statement we have taken the following steps in our continued efforts to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in our organisation or in our supply chain:
- As part of our Anti-Slavery Day 2020, we issued internal communications to our employees to raise awareness of the signs, dangers and consequences of modern slavery. This included promoting a Slavery Footprint interactive awareness platform to understand the pervasive nature of modern slavery in the supply chain at a personal level.
- We have been reviewing our procurement process and the actions we take regarding responses from suppliers on our mandatory anti-slavery due diligence. This has ensured our standards remain in line with best practice and continue to be followed according to our internal protocols.
- We have placed increased focus on the checks that we conduct of the sub-processors of our suppliers to ensure that our commitment to preventing modern slavery within our supply chain remains steadfast.
- Our journalism continues to highlight modern slavery as a global problem. For example, this article draws attention to the exploitative practices involved in modern slavery and the steps governments need to take to address the problem, particularly in the face of a global pandemic, which has increased the number of vulnerable people who may be exploited.
The Coronavirus pandemic prevented our events and conferences business from hosting face-to-face gatherings from March 2020. Our intention was to conduct risk assessments of these practices as a previously identified area of risk; however, the global pandemic significantly reduced this risk by prompting a shift to online events. It is important that there is an accurate portrayal of the risk whilst we undergo these assessments. Therefore, the review of this part of the business has been postponed until late 2021 when we anticipate that events and conferences will begin to be conducted in person again in some regions.
Taking into account the above, we plan to take the following steps in 2021 to further develop our anti-slavery programme:
- We will continue to review the previously identified risk areas in our business, including global events and conferences, which will be a focus for 2021 and beyond - depending on the return to live events as pandemic restrictions lift. The review will include working with our events operations teams to complete risk assessments for each of our annual events, including the event location, venue and the services provided by third parties.
- We will work with our internal business teams to update our modern slavery risk assessments and to ensure we continue to prioritise the right areas within the business. We will document the actions we are all taking to ensure our zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery.
- We will organise and host another Modern Slavery training event for all staff to raise awareness of the signs, dangers and consequences of modern slavery as part of our Modern Slavery Day 2021 training.
This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes Financial Times Group Limited’s slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ended 31 December 2020.
Approved by the board of directors and signed on behalf of Financial Times Group Limited by James Lund, CFO.
Financial Times Modern Slavery Statement 2016
Financial Times Modern Slavery Statement 2017
Financial Times Modern Slavery Statement 2018
Financial Times Modern Slavery Statement 2019