Modern slavery statement

The National Archives is a non-ministerial department, and the official archive and publisher for the UK Government, and for England and Wales. We are the guardians of over 1,000 years of iconic national documents. We are expert advisers in information and records management and are a cultural, academic and heritage institution. We fulfil a leadership role for the archive sector and work to secure the future of physical and digital records.

The National Archives contracts with a significant number of suppliers to facilitate its activities at its single site at Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 4DU.

Whilst the organisation believes its operations and supply chains are not especially susceptible to slavery and human trafficking, it is committed to conducting its affairs and acquiring goods and services without causing harm to others.

In furtherance of this aim it makes this statement (pursuant to Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015) to set out the steps that it has taken and is continuing to take to ensure that modern slavery or human trafficking is not taking place within its own operations or its supply chain:

  1. Wherever possible, goods and services are procured through framework agreements. Crown Commercial Service frameworks are used where appropriate and, via our membership with the London Universities Purchasing Consortium are affiliated with Electronics Watch, who protect the rights of workers in electronics global supply chains.
  2. The National Archives continues to review its requirements for suppliers in respect of ethical standards when engaging with international supply chains and where it identifies supply chains, which represent a medium to high risk of modern slavery, human trafficking, forced and bonded labour, and labour rights violations (for example in relation to work outsourced to low-cost countries).
  3. The organisation follows Cabinet Office standard terms and conditions, which include clauses requiring suppliers and other contractors to ensure that modern slavery, human trafficking, forced and bonded labour, and labour rights violations do not occur in their supply chain.
  4. The National Archives continues to consider how best to conduct its due diligence on key suppliers to ensure that they are observing acceptable ethical standards in relation to modern slavery and human trafficking. This includes undertaking enquiries before procuring services from a supplier and, on a case-by-case basis, considering further enquiries to make of prospective suppliers. It continues to consider how best to ensure suppliers are compliant with the Modern Slavery Act, and to seek assurances that suppliers enforce acceptable ethical standards both within their own business and within their supply chains.
  5. The National Archives operates a robust recruitment policy, including conducting eligibility to work in the UK checks for all employees to safeguard against human trafficking or individuals being forced to work against their will.

Living wages are paid – the lowest paid salary range is above the London Living Wage. If a periodic pay review identifies a worker, or group of workers, who have fallen below this level, this is addressed as soon as possible with any discrepancy backdated.

All internal policies are supported by a whistleblowing policy to encourage those who have concerns, including those related to modern slavery, to raise them, and protect and support them when doing so.

During the financial year 2023/2024, The National Archives is introducing a new Enterprise Resource Planning system that will help us in future to identify key spend by category, and geographical location of suppliers, allowing us to identify more readily high-risk areas and focus on appropriate targeted actions.

This statement was approved by the Executive Team on 5 October 2023.

Jeff James
Chief Executive Officer and Keeper