ALERT – MODERN SLAVERY

April 2, 2019

Following from our previous article about the commencement of the Modern Slavery Act we provide this update for our commercial clients.

 

On Friday 29 March 2019, the Government released the draft modern slavery act reporting entity guidance. This 73 page guide, provides practical guidance for entities required to comply with the new obligations and report. The first reports are due at the close of this financial year.

We have made an outline of the seven (7) key reporting guidelines.

 

Modern Slavery Act 2018

 

The Modern Slavery Act 2018 (the Act) has now commenced. The objective of the Act is to increase awareness of and assist the Australian business community in addressing the issue of modern slavery and to reduce the risk of such practices occurring. This is done by way of businesses providing reports to demonstrate their operations and supply chains are free from exploitation.

 

Requirements

 

If your entity has an annual revenue of at least AUD$100 million dollars and is either an Australian entity or a foreign entity carrying out business in Australia, you are a reporting entity and will be required to provide an annual statement each financial year. The requirement to report commenced after 1 January 2019.

Your statement will need to be provided to the Department of Home Affairs within six months from the end of the reporting period (usually financial year) to be published on the online central register.

 

Statements can be accessed free of charge by any member of the public.

There are seven mandatory criteria that must be present in your statement:

 

1.       Identify the reporting entity

 

2.       Describe your entity’s structure, operations and supply chains

 

3.       Describe the risks of modern slavery practices in the operations and supply chains of both your entity and any entity owned or controlled by that entity. This means the potential for your entity to cause, contribute to or be directly linked to modern slavery in relation to people. For example any risks involved in the labour practices of supply chains.

 

4.       Describe any actions that are taken to assess and address the abovementioned risks, including due diligence and remediation processes. This means that your statement should explain how your entity identifies, prevents, mitigates and addresses modern slavery risks, as well as processes to remedy any contribution to modern slavery.

 

5.       Describe how you would assess the effectiveness of the actions taken in point 4. For example if the entity has implemented training for staff and suppliers, how effective has this training been in raising awareness.

 

6.       Describe any processes of consultation with any entities that your entity owns or controls. For example demonstrated dialogue between related entities.

 

7.       And any other information you feel would be relevant. For example, any other ways the entity has addressed the issue of modern slavery, such partnering with another organization to raise awareness.

 

This statement must be approved by the principal governing body of the reporting entity and must be signed by a responsible member of the reporting entity.

 

If your statement does not comply with the Act, the Minister may publicly identify your business as being noncompliant.

If your business does not meet the revenue requirement, you may opt to voluntarily report. Benefits of doing so include, demonstrating leadership in this area and showing you are a responsible business.

 

 

Voice Lawyers can assist you with making sure your business is compliant with these new requirements.

Contact voice@voicelawyers.com or (02) 93218602 for assistance.

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