Human Rights Policy
VetCT was established in 2009 by specialist veterinary radiologists. We provide veterinary specialist advice and support across the veterinary ecosystem globally. Our core services include teleradiology (expert reports on X-rays, CT scans and MRI scans to help vets diagnose and treat their animal patients), teleconsulting (providing multidisciplinary point of care advice to vets in practice), and education (providing educational content and services for Universities and continuing education for practising veterinary professionals) .
We serve clients and communities around the world, working to achieve our mission to make the veterinary world a better place by delivering trusted veterinary knowledge, support and reassurance at the point of need. We are proud to look after vets all over the world and our services were developed with all parts of the veterinary ecosystem in mind; veterinary students, new graduates, interns, residents, primary care vets, advanced practitioners, and specialists. We have over 200 veterinary experts covering all specialties and species. VetCT is built on the principles of exceptional-quality work and outstanding patient care, while our values are centred on kindness and empathy.
Our operations are based in the UK, Australia and USA to deliver our services to our clients 24 hours a day, 365 days a week around the world.
This policy applies to all colleagues, consultants, contractors and third parties providing services to, or working for, VetCT regardless of location. We seek to ensure we are not complicit in human rights abuses by any other person, organisation or government. Any actual or potential violation of human rights caused or contributed to by our activities or business relationships must be reported as soon as possible in accordance with our whistleblowing procedures.
- Support and respect all internationally recognised human rights.
- Seek to avoid causing or contributing to adverse human rights impacts through our own activities and address such impacts, if they do occur, in a timely and appropriate manner.
- Ensure all colleagues are informed regarding our commitments to human rights and our expectation to adhere to these.
- Seek to prevent or mitigate adverse human rights impacts that are directly related to our operations and services through our business relationships.
- Continue to look for ways to support the promotion of human rights within our operations and our sphere of influence.
Our policies in relation to human rights and our Code of Conduct are reviewed on an annual basis.
Our Code of Conduct outlines our commitment to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business relationships and we expect full adherence by our colleagues, consultants, contractors and third parties providing services to, or working for, VetCT regardless of location. This policy sets out our position with respect to human rights and modern slavery and sits alongside our Employment Handbook, Health and Safety Policy, and our Code of Conduct.
VetCT will not use child labour and will comply with all relevant laws in this regard. We do, however, support legitimate workplace apprenticeships, internships and other similar programmes that comply with the applicable laws and regulations of each nation that we operate within. We fully respect all applicable laws establishing a minimum age for employment.
All employment with VetCT is voluntary. VetCT will not use forced, bonded or involuntary labour, and workers are not required to lodge ‘deposits’ or identity papers with the company and can leave after giving reasonable notice in line with their terms and conditions of employment, with all payments owed. We have a zero-tolerance approach towards human trafficking.
Health & Safety
All VetCT employees will work in an environment that is both safe and healthy, and in line with our Health & Safety Policy. As the majority of our colleagues are home based, we will ensure that appropriate assessments are carried out in this regard.
VetCT prohibits physical abuse or discipline, the threat of physical abuse, sexual or other harassment and verbal abuse or other forms of intimidation.
VetCT are committed to ensuring that all of those that work for the company have working hours and annual leave entitlements that are fully compliant with local laws and applicable collective agreements. Any overtime worked will be voluntary and not excessive. In addition, we allocate wellness hours to our colleagues to take at their discretion to support their wellbeing.
Equality of Treatment
VetCT is fully committed to eliminating discrimination in all aspects of recruitment and employment in line with our Equal Opportunities Policy which is communicated to all of our colleagues in our Employee Handbook. We strive to foster a working environment which is free from harassment, intimidation, discrimination and inhumane treatment. We are committed to the elimination of discrimination based on race, gender, class, ethnic background, sexual orientation, age, marital status, religious belief, gender reassignment and any other protected characteristics in the countries where we operate.
Employment Terms & Conditions
VetCT will provide written and clear contracts of employment which detail the terms and conditions of employment to all of our colleagues. We will ensure that work performed is on the basis of recognised local employment legislation and practice. We will provide remuneration and benefits that meet national standards as a minimum and will provide clear written information on pay and conditions. We are committed to equal pay and benefits regardless of gender for work of equal value.
Due to the nature of our business, we assess ourselves to have a low risk of human rights being infringed in our business and supply chains. Our supply chains are limited and we procure goods and services from a restricted range of UK and overseas suppliers. However, we will seek to make contractual agreements with our suppliers that require them to respect internationally recognised human rights and modern slavery legislation in their work that are consistent with the commitments in this policy.
Roles & Responsibilities
The Leadership Team has overall responsibility for ensuring our commitment and policy in respect to human rights is implemented.
- Maintain clear policies and procedures to ensure respect for human rights across all areas of our business.
- Assess our human rights impacts, especially when entering new markets.
- Be clear about our recruitment policy.
- Assess and take steps to manage human rights risk within our supply chain.
- Lead by example by making appropriate checks on all colleagues, recruitment agencies, suppliers, etc. to ensure we know who is working for us.
- Ensure we have in place an open and transparent grievance process.
- Seek to train and raise awareness among our colleagues, suppliers and business partners so that they understand our policy and their role in implementing it.
- Make a clear statement to demonstrate that we take our responsibilities seriously.
The Head of People has day-to-day responsibility for the implementation of this policy and for ensuring that any breaches are investigated. Management at all levels are responsible for ensuring those reporting to them are made aware of and understand this policy and are given adequate and regular training on it.
All colleagues must:
- Read and understand the policy;
- Complete training annually;
- Behave ethically;
- Report concerns.
If you are unsure about how this Policy might affect your activities or you have any questions about its application contact the People Team.
Any colleague that has a concern regarding another colleague or a member of the supply chain should ensure this is raised to prevent any further exploitation or abuse. If you feel that someone is in immediate danger, please contact local emergency services, otherwise, please discuss your concerns with a member of the People Team. If you have any concerns regarding your own situation in relation to your human rights, you should follow the grievance process outlined in the Employee Handbook or speak to a member of the People Team. We are committed to encouraging our employees and suppliers to speak up without retribution about any concerns they may have.