MDDUS is a mutual defence organisation offering expert advice, assistance and indemnity cover to doctors, dentists and other healthcare professionals across the UK.
A private company limited by guarantee, MDDUS is the trading name of the holding company of the Group. There are three wholly owned subsidiaries: MDDUS Insurance Limited, an insurance company; MDDUS Education Limited, a risk and training company; and MDDUS Property Limited, which oversees the management and performance of the investment property portfolio.
The Board is committed to a high standard of corporate governance that reflects MDDUS’s role as a ‘non-directive’ mutual insurer. As a recent member of the Association of Financial Mutuals (AFM), the Board must aim to comply with the Provisions and Principles of AFMs’ UK Corporate Governance Code: an annotated version for mutual insurers (September 2016). The MDDUS operates only within the UK and Channel Islands and complies with all relevant company law.
The Act defines modern slavery as “slavery, servitude, and forced or compulsory labour” including “human trafficking”. The Board believes firmly that there are no circumstances in which it is acceptable to support and/or encourage slavery, forced labour and/or human trafficking.
Internal risks and processes
The professional-service nature of MDDUS’s business is considered to expose it to a low risk of the occurrence of slavery, forced labour and / or human trafficking. Internal controls help to ensure that MDDUS complies with the Act, in particular our human resource procedures and pre-employment checks. MDDUS is committed to fair pay and no one working within MDDUS earns less than the living wage. In 2017, following a consultation with staff, MDDUS began reviewing its health and wellbeing offerings to staff.
MDDUS believes, therefore, that the area of highest risk to its compliance with the letter and spirit of the Act is its supply chain. The reputation of MDDUS is built on trust and integrity and, as such, MDDUS has particular expectations from staff, sector partners and other organisations with which it conducts business. MDDUS aims to form relationships only with partners and other organisations who recognise and demonstrate that people involved in any level of a business process should be treated with dignity and respect.
Identification of risk in our supply chain
MDDUS has a varied supply chain, which includes the purchase of a range of products and services – for example, professional services (legal, audit and investment management), office equipment and supplies, cleaning services, vehicle purchase, ICT and telecommunications, utilities, training and consultancy services, promotional items, catering and travel services.
In order to assess and ensure compliance with the Act, MDDUS developed a gap analysis and interim action plan in 2017. This included the formation of a Modern Slavery Act Working Group, which brought together stakeholders from across the organisation to ensure the identification of areas of potential risk and, over time, to promote the holistic embedding of the letter and spirit of the Act within the practices and procedures of MDDUS.
From 2018, MDDUS will use a risk-based approach to assess the likelihood of the existence of slavery, forced labour and / or human trafficking within our supply chain. Criteria will include factors such as the origin of the product, the location and method for providing the service and the value of the product/service. This will enable a review of suppliers using a targeted bespoke questionnaire and the identification of potential risk areas for slavery, forced labour and/or human trafficking. Where we identify a high-risk supplier or activity within our supply chain, we may work with the organisation to take remedial action or, if more appropriate, take steps to remove the organisation from our supply chain. An update about this work will be included in our statement for the financial year ending 31 December 2018.
This statement applies to the MDDUS Group, including its three wholly owned subsidiaries.