The Modern Slavery Act 2018 defines Modern slavery as:
a) any conduct constituting a modern slavery offence,
b) any conduct involving the use of any form of slavery, servitude or forced labour to exploit children or other persons taking place in the supply chains of government agencies or non-government agencies.
For more information on modern slavery click here.
The Modern Slavery Act (NSW & Cth) calls upon businesses to address slavery in their supply chains and operations through a system of transparency, reporting and due diligence.
The Commonwealth legislation came into effect on January 1, 2019. The first reporting period is between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 30 2020, with the first compliance statements now due on 31 March 2021. Currently, the NSW law is under review and may be enacted in early 2021.
The Commonwealth Modern Slavery Act applies to commercial entities with an annual consolidated revenue of more than $100 million. Supply chains are both within Australia and offshore.
A commercial organisation must prepare a modern slavery statement each financial year.
The modern slavery statement must be posted online and include:
1. The organisation’s structure, its business and its supply chains.
2. Its due diligence processes in relation to modern slavery in its business and supply chains.
3. The parts of its business and supply chains where there is a risk of modern slavery taking place.
4. The steps it has taken to assess and manage that risk, including providing training about modern slavery for its employees.
To learn more about the Modern Slavery Act, click here.
There are 7 steps to consider now:
1. Awareness and training:
What training and awareness raising do you undertake internally and with suppliers?
2. Risk Assessment:
Do you know the areas of highest risk within your supply chain?
3. Due Diligence:
How do you vet and select suppliers and contractors?
What protections and mechanisms do you include in your contracts?
What monitoring do you undertake on suppliers and contractors?
6. Speak up Mechanisms
Do you have mechanisms to encourage concerns to be brought to your attention so that you have an opportunity to investigate and respond?
How do senior management and the Board have visibility and oversight over mitigation steps/potential issues?
(Ref. Herbert Smith Free Hills)
For more information, click here.
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In July 2019, the Commonwealth Government released its Guidance on the Modern Slavery Act (Cth). It brings clarity into what commercial entities with annual consolidated revenues over $100M need to do in order to comply with the legislation. You can download it here.