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.
At Treatwell we have a zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery and we are committed to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business dealings and relationships. We have implemented policies, procedures and training to ensure modern slavery is not taking place anywhere in our own business, in any of the salons we partner with and in any of our supply chains.
We are also acutely aware of the heightened risk of modern slavery and human trafficking within the hair and beauty industry. Data from Unseen, an anti-slavery NGO, shows that the beauty/spa sector was the second-most prevalent business sector in labour exploitation cases reported to their Modern Slavery Helpline in 2019 with 131 reported cases and 452 potential victims (Modern Slavery Helpline Annual Assessment 2019). Many of these cases were in nail bars, which have been identified as one of nine key risk areas for labour exploitation in the UK government's Labour Market Enforcement Strategy 2018/19 and 2019/20.
Treatwell is in a unique position to be able to raise awareness and educate our partners, their employees, our own employees and our customers on this issue and use our platform to help prevent and stop modern slavery from happening in our supply chains. We also want to ensure that our partners and stylists are equipped to spot issues and are able to take action if something causes them concern. We hope sharing this information with industry professionals will help to put a stop to modern slavery happening within the hair & beauty supply chain.
What is modern slavery & what does it look like in reality?
Modern slavery is a serious crime which infringes upon an individual’s fundamental human rights. It is not just what you might expect the word ‘slavery’ to mean and it certainly isn’t banished to a time in history. Today it can take various forms, such as servitude, forced and compulsory labour and human trafficking. Any act by someone which deprives a person of their liberty in order to exploit them for personal or commercial gain is modern slavery.
When visiting, working in or running a salon, questions to ask yourself about your experience include:
- Are employees showing signs of physical or psychological abuse or do they have untreated injuries?
- Do they look malnourished, unwell or very tired?
- Do they seem anxious, agitated or appear withdrawn and neglected?
- Do they seem under the control or influence of others, or look for permission to do anything at all or move around in the salon?
- Does the manager seem controlling, rude or unpleasant to employees?
- Are employees prevented from leaving the salon? Perhaps lunch is brought into them and only the manager or senior employee ever leaves separately?
- Do they avoid interacting with you, other customers or other employees in the salon?
- Do they avoid eye contact?
- Are they able to speak English?
- Are they dropped off and/or collected from the salon in groups, or very early in the morning or late at night?
- Do they refuse to accept payment or tips directly?
- Are there signs the salon is being used as residential accommodation or are any facilities attached to it which could be a living space?
- Are the prices unexpectedly or unreasonably low?
If you answer YES to any of these questions it could mean someone is being subjected to modern slavery in one form or another. If something gives you cause for concern, we strongly suggest you follow the guidance set out below. For more information for signs of modern slavery visit https://www.modernslaveryhelpline.org/about/spot-the-signs.
What should you do if you are concerned about modern slavery happening in your salon, a salon you’ve visited or work at?
1. Tell Treatwell
It is of absolute importance to us that our partners are operating lawfully and treating staff fairly. While we undergo a detailed on-boarding process with all salons listed on Treatwell, anyone operating like this will know how to hide it. It may take a moment of error to reveal something suspicious and if you spot it or become aware of this behaviour happening, we want to know about it.
You can reach our Customer Experience Team by email here or our partner-specific team here. You can also contact your Account Manager directly. Concerns raised about modern slavery will be kept strictly confidential and escalated immediately.
2. Report it to the Modern Slavery helpline
Reporting your concerns to the Modern Slavery helpline means experts can properly investigate and provide help to anyone who may be affected.
You can do this easily online https://www.modernslaveryhelpline.org or by calling 08000 121 700
When doing so online, there is a box where you can enter further details. We ask you to use this box to let the helpline know that we would like to be involved in and kept updated on their investigations. Here’s some wording you can paste into the box:
Please note that this venue is listed on Treatwell at treatwell.co.uk. Treatwell are aware of the issue that I have raised and that I am making this report and they wish to be informed of any issues and the outcome at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org so that they can take any appropriate action.
3. Keep us posted
We ask you to let us know once you have reported the issue to the Modern Slavery helpline and the outcome of that. We will already be investigating, working with the Modern Slavery helpline to provide information and helping where we can, but it is useful to let us know if you hear of any conclusions to the investigation so that we can take appropriate action.
By helping us we are able to help you and your employees stay informed on these practices and to safeguard workers’ rights and freedoms. We will continuously monitor our approach and proactively tackle the issue of modern slavery and we thank you for your help in enabling us to do so.
For more information, please see our Modern Slavery Statement or contact us using this form. You can also find out more about modern slavery generally and its prevalence in the hair & beauty industry by visiting the following websites and sources: