Modern slavery is a crime and a violation of fundamental human rights. It takes various forms, such as slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour and human trafficking, all of which have in common the deprivation of a person’s liberty by another in order to exploit them for personal or commercial gain.
The Open Book Collective has a zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery, and we are committed to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business dealings and relationships and to implementing and enforcing effective systems and controls to ensure modern slavery is not taking place anywhere in our own organisation. We also request confirmation from our partners and distributors that they have a commitment against modern slavery and human trafficking and are committed to ensuring that their organisation and supply chains are free from slavery.
This policy applies to all persons working for us or on our behalf in any capacity, including employees at all levels, directors, external workers, volunteers, interns, and business partners.
This policy does not form part of any employee’s contract of employment and we may amend it at any time.
The Open Book Collective’s primary partners are Open Access book publishers, Open Access service providers, and knowledge institutions, primarily universities. Within this supply chain, and the supply chain these organisations use, it is our assessment that the risk of modern slavery and human trafficking is low. Many of our university partners themselves require us, as an organisation, to have an anti modern slavery statement in place. Our publisher and service provider members are predominantly concerned with the publishing of digital works, using well known server provision such as Amazon Web Services, which operates under Amazon’s general Anti-Slavery Statement. Many publishers do produce hard copies of their books, but these again are with mainstream providers such as Lightning Source, which has declared a commitment against Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking policy, and Kindle Direct, which is again subject to Amazon’s general policy.
The Open Book Collective has overall responsibility for ensuring this policy complies with our legal and ethical obligations, and that all those under our control comply with it.
The Open Book Collective has primary and day-to-day responsibility for implementing this policy, monitoring its use and effectiveness, dealing with any queries about it, and auditing internal systems and procedures to ensure they are effective in countering modern slavery.
The Stewards of the Open Book Collective are responsible for ensuring those reporting to them understand and comply with this policy and are given adequate training on it and on the issue of modern slavery.
You are invited to comment on this policy and suggest ways in which it might be improved. Comments, suggestions and queries are encouraged and should be addressed to the Open Book Collective Managing Director in the first instance, followed by the Chair, then Vice Chair.
You must ensure that you read, understand and comply with this policy.
The prevention, detection and reporting of modern slavery in any part of our business is the responsibility of all those working for us. You are required to avoid any activity that might lead to, or suggest, a breach of this policy. You must notify the Open Book Collective Managing Director as soon as possible if you believe or suspect that a conflict with this policy has occurred or may occur in the future.
You are encouraged to raise concerns about any issue or suspicion of modern slavery in any parts of our business, or that of our partners and distributors, at the earliest possible stage.
If you believe or suspect a breach of this policy has occurred or that it may occur, you must notify the Open Book Collective Managing Director in the first instance, followed by the Chair, then Vice Chair. Open Book Collective staff contact details are available here.
If you are unsure about whether a particular act, the treatment of workers more generally, or their working conditions within any part of our business, or that of our partners and distributors, constitutes any of the various forms of modern slavery, raise it with the Open Book Collective Managing Director.
We aim to encourage openness and will support anyone who raises genuine concerns in good faith under this policy, even if they turn out to be mistaken. We are committed to ensuring no one suffers any detrimental treatment as a result of reporting in good faith their suspicion that modern slavery of whatever form is or may be taking place in any part of our own business or in any of our partners or distributors.
Detrimental treatment includes dismissal, disciplinary action, threats or other unfavourable treatment connected with raising a concern.
If you believe that you have suffered any such treatment, you should inform the Open Book Collective Managing Director in the first instance, followed by the Chair, then Vice Chair. If the matter is not remedied, and you are an employee, you should raise it formally following our Open Book Collective Whistleblowing Policy.
All individuals who work for us will be made aware of this policy when they join the Open Book Collective, and updates will be provided using established methods of communication.
Our zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery must be communicated to all suppliers, contractors and business partners at the outset of our business relationship with them and reinforced as appropriate thereafter.
Any employee who breaches this policy will face disciplinary action, which could result in dismissal for misconduct or gross misconduct. We may terminate our relationship with other individuals and organisations working on our behalf if they breach this policy.
Joe Deville, OBC Managing Director