The Business structure
HomeServe is an international home repairs and improvements business which provides people with access to tradespeople and technology to make home repairs and improvements easy.
Our vision is to be the world's most trusted provider of home repairs and improvements and we seek to reach homeowners through three global business lines: Home Assistance Membership, Heating, Ventilation & Air-conditioning (HVAC) and Home Experts.
We provide services to our customers though our directly employed customer service agents and engineers and through locally-based contractor networks. We also provide directory and lead-generation services, linking consumers directly with tradespeople.
HomeServe plc operates as a holding company for its global operations. In the UK, the principal operations are HomeServe Membership Limited (HML) and Vetted Limited, trading as Checkatrade. These companies operate on a stand-alone basis and have published their Modern Slavery Act statements on their own websites. These can be found at https://www.homeserve.com/uk/about/anti-slavery-statement and https://www.checkatrade.com/modern-slavery/. HomeServe recently acquired CET Structures Limited (CET). CET looks after the home emergency policies for one in eight UK households, providing a range of specialist property services to the insurance sector. CET is also the UK’s leading provider of subsidence investigation, alongside delivering nationwide drainage investigation and repair services. CET has published its own Modern Slavery Act statement which can be found at https://www.cet-uk.com/about
On an international basis HomeServe has businesses in France (HomeServe SAS), Belgium (HomeServe Belgium SRL-BV), Spain (HomeServe Iberia, S.L.U. and HomeServe Asistencia Iberia, S.A.U.), Portugal (Mesos), Germany (HomeServe Deutschland Holding GmbH & Co. KG, HomeServe Assistance Deutschland GmbH and HomeServe Handwerksdienstleistung Deutschland GmbH), Canada (Service Line Warranties of Canada), the USA (HomeServe USA Holdings Corp and eLocal USA LLC) and Japan (HomeServe Japan Corporation a joint venture with Mitsubishi Corporation). Sitting underneath these companies are other operational subsidiaries principally in the HVAC space.
HomeServe employs over 7,400 people worldwide and has 8.4 million customers in its global Membership business and over 57,000 trades working with its Home Experts businesses. In total HomeServe generated revenues in FY21 of £1,304.7 million.
HomeServe has an extensive supply chain with multiple tiers and varying degrees of leverage. Examples of suppliers include:
- IT equipment, replacement parts with constituent global supply chains (primarily recognised/ reputable brands), some sourced locally, others at a Group level.
- Contractors for services such as marketing, IT, telephony and call centres, waste etc.
- Delivery partners including sub-contracted trades.
Values and Policy
As a group we are committed to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business dealings and relationships. This includes identifying areas of risk and implementing controls to ensure modern slavery is not taking place in our own business(es) or in any part of our supply chain. This is how we demonstrate our zero tolerance approach to modern slavery.
As a Group, we are committed to promoting the highest standards of integrity and ethical behaviour in our business. Our Code of Business Conduct provides clear expectations and guidance for all our People and partners about the standards we expect them to demonstrate in their role. These standards are reinforced by our other policies such as those that govern our approach to recruitment and procurement. All of our people have the ability to raise concerns relating to possible illegal or unethical conduct through our Whistleblowing hotline.
As a holding company, HomeServe plc does not generate any business on its own, but it does employ a number of people and purchases goods and services (mainly professional and IT services) both on its own account and on behalf of the wider Group. In the year to 31 March 2022 we undertook a risk review of our activities and those of our suppliers, and are satisfied that in all of those activities there is a low risk of slavery and human trafficking taking place. We introduced further steps into our procurement processes to ensure that our suppliers are aware of their obligations under the Modern Slavery Act and to ensure that they comply with them. We reviewed our key suppliers’ own statements relating to the steps they take to ensure that slavery and trafficking does not take place in their businesses or their own supply chains. We also reviewed and implemented a new whistleblowing policy, supported by a global hotline which enables our employees and other workers to raise any concerns, including those relating to modern slavery.
Last year we undertook to work with the Slave Free Alliance (“SFA”) to conduct a full review of the approach of each of our businesses to modern slavery risk in their operations and supply chains. While this work has not yet been fully completed, we are confident that the activities of the HomeServe Group are low risk for the following reasons:
- Businesses across the group conduct rigorous recruitment processes, including face to face interviews, documentary checks and references. New recruits undergo comprehensive induction and training processes.
- Financial checks are comprehensive.
- Due diligence of suppliers is carried out and we plan to further strengthen this with a greater focus on modern slavery related questions.
- The Group has high ethical standards as illustrated by the Code of Business Conduct which includes provisions related to Modern Slavery with which we expect all of our businesses to comply.
Parts of the business where there is risk
An area of potential risk we have identified is in our contractor base. This is largely mitigated by the levels of skill required. Further potential risk areas include lower tiers of the supply of goods and services such as IT equipment, replacement parts and facilities such as waste. This is an area for ongoing evaluation. All business partners are required to commit to both legal and our Code of Business Conduct standards.
Across the Group there is extensive role-relevant training for new starters as well an annual refresher training and a culture of people development. We recognise that there is an opportunity to supplement this with training on the risks of modern slavery. This is included in our plans for the future.
Moving forward we are looking to take a strategic approach to continuously improve our activities ensuring they are both proportionate and impactful.
- Training to promote awareness of slavery, the applicable legislation, potential business and human impacts and reporting.
- A review of policies to ensure clear communication across the group of our vision, values, standards and reporting channels. We aim to include both greater definition of modern slavery and pertinent illustrative examples to aid recognition and provide guidance on how to respond to concerns or incidents.
- Improvements to internal and external reporting on modern slavery.
- Forming a modern slavery working group to support collaborative actions across businesses and share best practice.
- Review contractual terms and provisions for modern slavery.
- Further strengthen our modern slavery due diligence internally and in supply chains.
- Develop KPIs to help drive and monitor our progress.
We anticipate that the Gap Analysis will be completed shortly, and we will seek to implement its recommendations.
We look forward to reporting on further developments as we make progress.
Approved by the Board of HomeServe plc and signed by David Bower, Director, 20 May 2022.