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The Modern Slavery Act (2015) (the Act) requires any commercial organisation which supplies goods or services, carries on business in the United Kingdom, and has a total turnover above a specified level, to publish an annual slavery and human trafficking statement.
This statement relates to actions and activities undertaken during the financial year 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019 to ensure that modern slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in our business or in our supply chain.
The Medical Defence Union Ltd (MDU) is a not-for-profit mutual company limited by guarantee, based in the UK. Its activities include the discretionary provision, in accordance with its memorandum and articles of association, of indemnity and medico-legal and dento-legal services for its members. The MDU represents members' medico-legal interests by informing and thereby influencing the government and other bodies on matters relating to healthcare law and the regulatory environment with a view to ensuring that any changes in these areas are equitable and fair.
The MDU's operational activities, including membership administration, are undertaken by MDU Services Limited (MDUSL). MDUSL is based in the UK and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for insurance mediation and consumer credit activities only.
MDU Investments Ltd (MDUIL) is based in the UK and manages investments on behalf of the MDU. Funds are invested with third party investment managers and MDUIL does not undertake any direct investment activity.
MDU Reinsurance Ltd is based in Guernsey and its primary function is to provide access to global reinsurance markets for the business.
The MDU has a zero-tolerance approach to slavery and human trafficking in its business and supply chains. It is committed to acting ethically and with integrity in all its business dealings and relationships. We have long-established procedures to conduct checks to ensure that staff can legally work in the UK. We also have procedures providing appropriate protection for staff reporting concerns about non-compliance with laws, regulations and codes of practice relevant to our business.
A stand-alone anti-modern slavery and human trafficking policy was approved during 2017 and has been updated and republished for the year 2019.
Overall, the MDU's risks related to Modern Slavery Act compliance have been assessed as low.
Nevertheless, we risk assess new suppliers in order to identify their risk level in regards to slavery and human trafficking. This risk assessment takes into consideration factors such as the supplier's sector, geographical location, and materiality. In cases where the risk level is identified as being higher, we ask suppliers to provide information about their own employment practices and supply chains. We seek to ensure that there are appropriate contractual clauses in place with our suppliers which address the risk of modern slavery, in particular, where suppliers are identified as bearing a higher risk of modern slavery.
The MDU board and senior management are briefed on the requirements of the Act on an annual basis.
To ensure an appropriate level of understanding of the risks, training will continue to be provided to staff as relevant.
Going forward, we will continue to assess new suppliers for modern slavery and human trafficking risk.
This statement will be reviewed annually.
This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Act and constitutes our anti-slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ended 31 December 2019.
Dr Christine Tomkins