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In February 2020 Ethical Consumer searched the Pets At Home website for information on its supply chain management. Some information was found on their Human Rights and Modern Slavery Statement.

The document stated, "Our suppliers are also required to comply with our Ethical Trading Policy which sets out the minimum standards that they are required to adhere to wherever they procure materials, manufacture or perform services for, or supply products to, our business." However, no information could be found on any of the clauses it contained.
A strong policy would include the following commitments: no use of forced labour, permission of freedom of association, payment of a living wage, the restriction of working hours to 48 hours plus 12 overtime (without exception), no use of a child labour (under 15 or 14 if ILO exempt), no discrimination by race, sex or for any other reason.

No mention was made of any stakeholder enagegement.
Ethical Consumer deemed it necessary for companies to demonstrate stakeholder engagement, such as through membership of the Ethical Trade Initiative, Fair Labour Association or Social Accountability International. Companies were also expected to engage with Trade Unions, NGOs and/or not-for-profit organisations which could systematically verify the company's supply chain audits, and for workers to have access to an anonymous complaints system, free of charge and in their own language.

There was some information about the companies auditing and reporting but this was very limited. The document stated, "Our supplier standard general terms and conditions require compliance with the Act and include a right for Pets at Home to conduct audits on supplier compliance. We undertake ethical audits which cover: hours of work, labour practices, working conditions, onsite accommodation, health & safety, environment, supply chain management and wages."
No information was given on the results of any audits and there was no clear plan or remediation strategy.
Ethical Consumer deemed it necessary for companies to have an auditing and reporting system. Results of audits should be publicly reported and quantitatively analysed. The company should have a scheduled and transparent audit plan that applies to their whole supply chain, including some second tier suppliers. The company should also have a staged policy for non-compliance. The costs of the audit should be borne by the company.

There was mention of a whistleblowing policy but no details were given. There was also some mention of supply chain traning but this was limited to one session per year. "In September 2018, at our Asia Supplier Conference (being an area where we consider there is a greater potential risk of modern slavery being prevalent), we will re-deliver a workshop on the subject of modern slavery and the Group’s policies to representatives of 80 Asia based suppliers."
Ethical Consumer also deemed it necessary for companies to address other difficult issues in their supply chains. This would include ongoing training for agents, or rewards for suppliers, or preference for long term suppliers. It would also include acknowledgement of audit fraud and unannounced audits, and measures taken to address the issue of living wages, particularly among outworkers, and illegal freedom of association.
The company did not have any publicly available information on any of the above, therefore it received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for Supply Chain Management and lost a whole mark in this category.

Reference: (12 February 2020)