Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking

An Introduction from our Managing Director, James Daunt

We all have a responsibly to be alert to the risks and consequences, however small, in our business and in the wider supply chain, of slavery and human trafficking.  All workers in our business are expected to report concerns and our managers are expected to act upon them. The Modern Slavery Act of 2015 places a duty on us to review the risks and publish a statement each year.



Waterstones is a retailer of books and other goods from our shops and online; we also sell coffee and food from a number of our shops.  The parent company of the Waterstones group has its head office in the UK and aside from 3 shops in Eire and one in each of Brussels and Amsterdam, all our shops are and our internet business is in the UK.

The group has an annual turnover in excess of £36m.


Supply Chains

Our supply chains include the sourcing of books, coffee, food and other products, and the processing of the majority of those products through an outsourced third-party distribution centre.


Policy on Slavery and Human Trafficking

We are committed to ensuring that there is no modern slavery or human trafficking in our supply chains or in any part of our business. We have a commitment to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business relationships and to implementing and enforcing effective systems and controls to ensure slavery and human trafficking is not taking place anywhere in our supply chains nor in any part of our business.


How We Identify and Mitigate Against Slavery and Human Trafficking

As part of our initiative to identify and mitigate risks:

  • We have reviewed our employment practices and procedures;
  • Wherever possible we build long-term relationships with suppliers, both national and local and make clear our expectations of business behaviour, backed up by contractual terms where practicable;
  • We prefer to deal with UK companies and we expect these entities to have suitable anti-slavery and human trafficking policies and processes. We expect each entity in the supply chain to, at the very least, adopt ‘one-up’ due diligence on the next link in the supply-chain;
  •  We have in place systems to encourage the reporting of concerns and the protection of whistle blowers.


Our Values

We do not tolerate any slavery and human trafficking in our business. We expect all our suppliers, wherever they may be in our supply chain, and all of our contractors to comply with the same principle.



We provide training to relevant members of staff. Our directors have been briefed on the subject.


Our Effectiveness in Combatting Slavery and Human Trafficking

We have no formal KPIs to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in any part of our business or supply chains.  However, we monitor labour and payroll systems; and we communicate regularly with the next link in the supply chain to understanding that they can and do comply with our expectations.


This statement has been approved by the board.  It will be reviewed and, as necessary, updated annually.




James Daunt, Managing Director