Medline and the United Kingdom’s Modern Slavery Act 2015
Medline is aware that slavery, forced labour and human trafficking are critical human rights issues. We monitor our own internal operations as well as those of our suppliers to prevent and address such abuses of workers’ human rights.
Section 54 of the United Kingdom’s Modern Slavery Act of 2015 does not apply to Medline. Nevertheless, with this statement we describe the steps we take to combat slavery, forced labour and human trafficking. This statement applies to our 2016 financial year which ran from 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2016. It is publicly available on our website and is also published in our European sustainability report.
Medline Industries, Inc., is a fourth generation, family-owned company that is the largest privately held manufacturer and distributor of healthcare supplies and services in the United States. Our global headquarters are located in the United States of America in Northfield, Illinois.
Originally founded in 1910, Medline has evolved and matured as a business and currently provides more than 350 000 medical products (e.g. exam gloves, protective apparel, packs and gowns, and surgical trays) that help customers achieve clinical and financial success. Our innovative products and solutions are patient-centred and can be found in many hospitals, extended-care facilities, surgery centres, physician offices, home care dealers, home health agencies and retail outlets.
Medline does business in more than 90 countries, and employs more than 15 000 people worldwide who contribute to annual global revenues in excess of US$9 billion.
Medline International B.V. (“MIBV”) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Medline Industries, Inc. Medline International serves as our international headquarters (from corporate offices in the Netherlands), overseeing all operations in Europe, Japan, East Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Through various local country subsidiary entities of MIBV, the Medline group operates assembly/manufacturing facilities, distribution centres and sales/distribution offices. We serve customers in 31 European countries. Medline Industries Limited is the United Kingdom entity through which our local sales/distribution business in the United Kingdom is conducted.
Relevant Company Policies
Medline is committed to legally compliant, ethical and socially responsible business and employment practices. Our relevant group-wide policies in this regard include:
- Supplier Code of Conduct
- Employee Code of Conduct
- Non-Retaliation Policy
We base our policies on principles in international agreements such as International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions and the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We also comply with local laws and regulations at national and sub-national levels in the various countries where we operate.
Our Suppliers: Due Diligence Processes
We are committed to ensuring that workers in our supply chain are treated with dignity and respect. Medline’s Supplier Code of Conduct explicitly prohibits involuntary labour and child labour in our supply chain. Our Supplier Code of Conduct also sets out the minimum standards that Medline expects its suppliers to adhere to regarding wages and benefits, worker health and safety, and working hours. We have a zero tolerance policy and if we become aware of slavery, forced labour and human trafficking in our supply chain, we will terminate the business relationship with that supplier.
Since 2010 we have conducted social compliance audits of suppliers’ factories in line with the SA8000 standard. The SA 8000 standard is an internationally recognised verification system for ensuring fair and safe working conditions. It applies to labour and human rights issues such as: child labour, forced or compulsory labour, human trafficking, working hours, working conditions and remuneration. In 2015 and 2016, our internal auditors conducted 220 social compliance audits across our first-tier suppliers in Asia. No occurrences of slavery, human trafficking and forced labour in Medline’s supply chain were found by our auditors.
Medline Employees: Due Diligence Processes
Medline’s recruitment and employment policies, as well as our Code of Conduct, are enforced by local human resources (HR) representatives at all our factories, distribution centres and sales offices around the world. National labor authorities are entitled to conduct inspections and audits at any time in any of our facilities to screen for labor issues including slavery, forced labor, and human trafficking.
All employees in our global operations are encouraged to report any concerns they may have about potential labour and human rights abuses, and our reporting systems are designed to protect them from retaliation. Furthermore, employees in relevant functions (e.g. quality assurance) are trained annually on topics that include slavery, forced labour and human trafficking.