Modern slavery update.

30 November 2018 | Reading time: < 1 minute

In a win for corporate social responsibility and human rights, Australia’s first modern slavery legislation passed both houses of parliament yesterday.

Globally, around 40 million people are victims of modern slavery. Under the new laws, Australian entities, and foreign entities doing business in Australia, will be subject to annual reporting obligations if they have an annual consolidated revenue of at least $100 million. This is expected to apply to an estimated 3,000 entities.

These entities must publish a statement disclosing due diligence procedures for assessing and addressing the risk of modern slavery practices in their supply chains, operations and any entities they control. Statements will be published on the public register.

While penalties for non-compliance have not been introduced, entities failing to report may be asked to explain why they have not done so or to undertake remedial action. Failing to comply with that request may result in a public statement being issued about the non-compliance.

The first report will likely need to be published in 2020 for the 1 July 2019 – 30 June 2020 reporting period.

Stay tuned for our next post on how you can start preparing for these changes.