PlayMonster is proud of the steps we have taken to combat modern slavery and human trafficking. We are committed to continually improving our practices to eradicate slavery or human trafficking in our supply chain or our business and that preventative and remedial efforts continue to be relevant, timely and effective. PlayMonster takes its obligations under the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 and similar legislation in other territories very seriously and has a robust process to comply with its obligations. This report outlines the policies and actions we have taken to assess and address potential risks associated with modern slavery and forced labour in our supply chain up to the end of our 2020 financial year on December 31st 2020.
- Organisational Structure and Supply Chain
PlayMonster UK Ltd is a subsidiary of PlayMonster LLC, and both companies work together to design, manufacture, and distribute a wide range of award-winning toys and games. As part of our mission statement “Big on Fun”, we strive to ensure that this applies not only to those who buy and enjoy our products, but also to everyone involved in our supply chain, from direct employees to those who work in our factories, subcontractors, suppliers, and shippers.
The PlayMonster LLC group of companies deals with approximately 20 different factories, mostly located in Eastern China. PlayMonster UK Ltd was one of the first toy manufacturers to adopt the International Council of Toy Industries (ICTI) ethical audit standards as an absolute requirement for all factories, and we require all factories to apply similar standards to their subcontractors and suppliers.
As part of our commitment, PlayMonster regularly visits new and existing factories to ensure that the ICTI ethical audit standards are upheld, and we take an active interest in the wellbeing of both direct employees and those within the supply chain, taking urgent action to remedy any issue identified. Of particular focus are issues such as child labour, forced labour and health and safety, but we support moves for fair pay, lack of discrimination, working hours directives as part of this program, always seeking to meet and improve upon the legal requirements in place and industry expectations.
The year 2020 has been particularly challenging due to the Covid restrictions on travel, as a result of which we have paid particularly close attention to the ICTI ethical audits of our factories and suppliers, and to their corrective action plans which aim to make further improvements to working conditions. We have also broadened the remit of our China office to include reporting back on compliance with ethical standards.
- Our Policies on Slavery and Human Trafficking
We are absolutely committed to ensure that modern slavery and forced labour play no part in our supply chain and we will take immediate action should any act contrary to this policy come to our attention.
During 2020 we have taken action to ensure that raw materials, such as cotton, are not sourced from regions of the world where forced and prison labour is known to be used, and we actively research the origin of any minerals used in manufacturing processes to ensure that no “conflict minerals” can enter our supply chain.
- Risk Assessment and Due Diligence
As all our manufacturing is carried out in factories which are independently-owned, these form the focus of our ethical policies. No factory will be engaged unless it can clearly demonstrate ethical compliance by means of an audit carried out by ICTI (although BSCI and SMETA ethical audits may be accepted in exceptional circumstances). Wherever possible, each factory will be visited and inspected by a member of the PlayMonster team at least once per year, and any issues relating to ethical practices will be discussed with senior factory management and a corrective action plan agreed.
- Audits, Ongoing Verification and Evaluation
Every factory that makes products for PlayMonster will be independently audited by a qualified ICTI auditor at least once per year. In addition to this, the ICTI auditor may select the factory for an unannounced audit to ensure that all applicable ethical standards are maintained. PlayMonster employees with have access to ICTI audit reports, and will use these as the basis of discussions with factory personnel when conducting visits. At all stages, senior factory management will be expected to confirm their understanding of and commitment to any corrective action plan.
- Training and Awareness
Those PlayMonster employees involved in factory selections and audits will participate in regular seminars and meetings with ICTI with a view to improving their awareness of the latest initiatives in the toy and games industry, and will actively implement these initiatives with suppliers.
ICTI have a variety of training modules for factories and suppliers, in which they are encouraged to participate. The objective should be not only to meet the ICTI audit standards, but to exceed these.
- Governance and Internal Accountability
In the UK, responsibility for the implementation of this policy rests with the Operations Director of PlayMonster UK Ltd with the full support of the Board of Directors.
Eradicating human trafficking requires strong action and collaboration from governments, business, international organizations, and civil society. At PlayMonster we are committed to regularly reviewing and continuously improving our approach to human rights, including human trafficking and modern slavery, and strengthening our approach as needed, in line with emerging standards and legislation.
PlayMonster UK Ltd