"Synergy" consists of Synergy Outsourcing Limited in the UK and Synergy Contact Centre in South Africa. Synergy is publishing this statement under the provision of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the 'Act') on behalf of these entities. The Act requires Synergy to state the actions we have taken during the financial year to ensure modern slavery is not taking place in our operations and supply chains. This statement refers to the financial year ending 31 December 2019.
As an international contact centre organisation, Synergy believes the risk of modern slavery within our business to be relatively low. However, modern slavery can be challenging to identify, particularly when it occurs within complicated supply chains and therefore no business can be considered immune. Synergy is committed to ensuring that modern slavery, human trafficking, bonded and forced labour have no place in or around our business. Synergy encourages an honest and open culture and requires all employees to act with integrity at all times.
About Our Business
Synergy operates from a modern Contact Centre based near Durban in South Africa at which we currently employ approximately 700 full-time employees. In addition, we have a small commercial team based in London.
We provide a range of outsourced customer support solutions using inbound and outbound telephony, email and livechat communication channels.
Our supply chain consists of businesses that have opted to outsource distinct customer service functions which may include:
- Receipt of inbound communication from existing or new customers via telephone calls, email or LiveChat.
- Making outbound calls to existing customers, for example to arrange service appointments.
- Making outbound calls to potential customers.
- Contacting existing customers to recover outstanding debt.
- Provision of specific back office and processing support.
We are privately owned and service UK and South African businesses across several different sectors which include utilities, broadband and financial products. As many of our clients operate in regulated markets our employees are highly trained and work to strict operational standards during all forms of customer contact.
Synergy understands that people lie at the heart of this legislation. We have a responsibility to respect the human rights of, and an opportunity to make a difference to, our employees, and the people who work throughout our supply chain.
Acting legally and ethically and following our policies are some of the ways in which we ensure that we always do our best for our clients, our client’s customers and for each other. Our business is built on being the champion for customers. This value is embedded throughout our business, resonates with our employees and also frames how we expect the suppliers we work with to engage with their colleagues, customers and suppliers. We therefore seek to do business only with suppliers who have similar values and ethics as ourselves.
Synergy does not tolerate slavery, human trafficking, bonded labour, forced labour, child labour or child exploitation.
We have implemented a number of policies which allow us to manage human rights within our business and externally with our suppliers.
Procedures adopted to assess and manage slavery and human trafficking risk
As a contact centre services organisation, we believe the risk of modern slavery within our own business to be relatively low. We recognise, however, that through our supply chain we could be indirectly exposed to the risk of modern slavery and human trafficking.
For our key suppliers we have sought to identify issues or supply chains where workers are more vulnerable to abuses like slavery.
Synergy has put in place a number of procedures to ensure that modern slavery does not occur in our business or supply chains:
Where third parties are identified as being key suppliers to Synergy, a full due diligence assessment is carried out before the supplier is on-boarded. This assessment covers a range of topics including regulatory & legal compliance, HR and integrity.
Recruitment and Employment
Synergy has comprehensive recruitment processes and procedures in place, including conducting eligibility to work in the UK and South Africa checks for all employees to safeguard against human trafficking or forced labour. The majority of our colleagues are full time and all colleagues have Terms and Conditions which are regularly reviewed in line with employment law and best practice.
In addition, Synergy only uses reputable employment agencies. We have long-standing relationships with the majority of these agencies and we are assured of their practices from previous experience and their reputation in the marketplace.
Education, Training and Ethical Standards
In addition to having suitable policies in place, Synergy understands that a key part of our commitment to the Act is to ensure all our employees understand and comply with high ethical standards and integrity.
Synergy has a comprehensive whistleblowing policy which encourages all our employees and stakeholders to speak out if they have concerns about any activity, breach of law, dangers to the public and any concealment of information. Our policy is designed to make it easy for all colleagues to speak up and report anonymously without any risk to their employment or suffering any form of retribution.
Over the next 12 months, we will continue to strengthen our approach to managing the risk of Modern Day Slavery within our business.