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MRC Modern Slavery & Trafficking statement for April 2017 - March 2018

The Medical Research Council (MRC) improves the health of people in the UK - and around the world - by supporting excellent science, and training the very best scientists. We are a non-departmental public body funded through the government’s science and research budget.

Our work ranges from laboratory research, for example on genes and molecules, right through to research with people, such as clinical trials and population studies. Our research is carried out in universities, hospitals and a network of dedicated establishments across the UK.

We are supported mainly by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). In line with the Modern Slavery Act 2015, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is committed to preventing slavery and human trafficking in all its activities and contractual suppliers, whilst working with them to ensure that their supply chains are also free from slavery and human trafficking. 

MRC is committed to the principles of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and the abolition of modern slavery and human trafficking. As an equal-opportunities employer, the MRC is committed to creating and ensuring a non-discriminatory and respectful working environment for its staff. The MRC’s Recruitment and Selection policy ensures, as far as possible, that the best people are recruited on merit and that the recruitment process is free from bias and discrimination. This policy also enables the MRC to uphold its commitment to equalities and diversity by outlining a fair and consistent approach for recruitment and selection practices.

MRC maintains the following policies which are accessible to all staff via the MRC intranet:

  • MRC Code of Conduct - covers MRC Units, Institutes and Centres
    • UK SBS hold the harmonised Code of Conduct policy which covers MRC Head Office.
  • MRC Whistleblowing policy
  • MRC Bully and Harassment policy  
  • Recruitment and Selection policy

MRC’s procurement for goods and services is provided by our shared services provider, UK SBS. Our supply chain is extensive and we procure goods and services from a wide range of UK and overseas suppliers. The UK SBS have also published their statement on Slavery & Human Trafficking which includes their mechanisms for guarding against modern slavery in their client’s supply chains. Their statement is published on their website and can be found here:

UK SBS Slavery and Human Trafficking statement 2016-17 (PDF on UK SBS website)

Over the past 12 months, MRC has undertaken the following activities:

  • Worked with the seven Research Councils, Innovate UK and UK SBS to ensure that modern slavery risks are captured in UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) policies and procedures from UKRI’s inception in 2018. These include grant Terms and Conditions.
  • Enrolled out an eLearning package for all MRC staff.
  • Engaged with the programme establishing UK Research and Innovation to ensure Modern Slavery is captured in policies and procedures
  • Worked with Research Councils UK (RCUK) to update existing RCUK grant terms and conditions ahead of the inception of UKRI.

Key Performance Indicators:

MRC received zero reports from employees, the public, or law enforcement agencies to indicate that modern slavery practices have been identified.

90% of employees have completed the eLearning package.

MRC is now part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). UKRI therefore have assumed the responsibility for its 9 constituents in being compliant with the Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking act. From 2019 UKRI will be publishing the annual statement at it is now the legal entity.

This statement has been approved by the Chief Executive and Directors at MRC.

Hugh Dunlop, Chief Operating and Finance Officer