Modern Slavery Statement

Introduction from the Managing Director

Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd is committed to improving our practices to combat slavery and human trafficking. We have a zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery and we strive to act ethically and with integrity in all of our business dealings and relationships to ensure that modern slavery is not taking place anywhere in our own business or in any of our supply chains. This is our second statement and relates to actions and activities between 1 January  2017 and 31 December 2017.

Organisation's structure

We have been delivering small satellite missions for over 30 years, longer than anyone else in the world, giving us the experience to justify our reputation as the world's premier provider of operational and commercial small satellite programmes.  

In 2009 Airbus bought a 99% shareholding from the University of Surrey, and SSTL is now an independent company within the Airbus group.  We are governed by a Board of Directors overseeing our Directors who manage our 500 staff across two sites.

Our policies on anti-slavery and human trafficking

SSTL operates certain policies that support our commitment to identify modern slavery risks and take the necessary preventative steps to ensure there is no slavery or human trafficking in our operations as follows:

  • Whistleblowing Policy - we encourage all our employees, workers, customers and other business partners to report any concerns related to the direct activities, or the supply chains of the company.  This includes any circumstances that may give rise to the risk of slavery or human trafficking.  Our Whistleblowing Policy is designed to make it easy for all parties to make disclosures, without fear of retaliation.  Employees, customers or others who have concerns can contact any member of the leadership team, SSTL's Compliance Officer or the Managing Director.  Alternatively, he or she may make use of the "OpenLine" system put in place by our shareholder, Airbus either by telephone on 0800 27 00 00 07 or through the OpenLine website
  • Recruitment/Agency Workers - SSTL only uses agencies employed on our preferred supplier list (PSL) to source workers and always verifies the practices of any new agency it is using before accepting workers from that agency.

SSTL requires its suppliers to comply with our policy, or have their own policy on anti-slavery and human trafficking, which includes specific prohibitions against the use of forced, compulsory or trafficked labour or anyone held in slavery or servitude (whether adults or children), and we expect that our suppliers will hold their own suppliers to the same high standards. Any failure by a supplier tomeet the standards set out in this statement will be a breach of contract and may result in the termination of our relationship with them. We recognise the importance of maintaining constant vigilance to identify and address any issues associated with slavery and human trafficking in SSTL and throughout our supply chains. We are committed to continuing to enhance our capacity to identify, prevent and mitigate any actual or potential risks in these areas and since 2017 we have taken steps to prepare for implementation of terms of supply to specifically incorporate clauses relating to modern slavery and human trafficking by: 

  • Updating our major subcontract terms and conditions to comply with the law – to be completed in early 2018
  • Issuing a new supplier evaluation form that will request confirmation from the supplier that they have their own policy on anti-slavery and human trafficking, or compliance with our policy in absence of their own -  to be completed in early 2018


This year we briefed key employee groups across the company who are involved in aspects of the supply chain through the course of their roles. These specific groups are Procurement, Facilities, Subcontracts, Commercial and HR. 

Future Actions

Moving forward into 2018 we will look to establish a Strategic Modern Slavery Working Group to strengthen governance and move from our current phase of building transparency and process, to longer term planning.  We will also continue to raise awareness across the whole company to ensure all employees are clear about their responsibilities when dealing with suppliers or potential new suppliers.

This statement has been approved by the Board of Directors and is signed by Sarah Parker, the company’s Managing Director. This statement will be reviewed and updated annually.

Download our Modern Slavery Statement

View 2017 Modern Slavery Statement

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