We recently published an update advising on Australia’s move to establishing comprehensive modern slavery legislation. The legislation proposed by the Federal government sought to establish a modern slavery reporting requirement, with its primary objective being to have businesses take proactive and effective actions to address modern slavery and to mitigate the risk of modern slavery practices occurring in the supply chains of goods and services in the Australian market.
In that article, our recommendation was that organisations needed to begin preparing in order to meet their new obligations under this legislation. Well, it now seems that there is no time like the present, as the Modern Slavery Act 2018 has now been passed by the Federal parliament.
The key feature of the legislation is that it imposes a requirement on both Australian and foreign entities carrying on business in Australia to submit a modern slavery statement for every 12-month period that they have an annual consolidated revenue of at least $100 million. For detailed information about the various obligations imposed by the legislation and our recommendations to ensure compliance, see our October article.
With the legislation now having received assent, the reporting obligations are likely to commence before July 2019. The legislation provides that the first reporting period will be an organisation’s first financial year starting after the legislation commences operation – with the first report needing to be made within six months of the end of that financial year. So for most Australian entities, the first reporting period is likely to be the financial year 2019-2020 and the first report will be due between 1 July 2020 and 31 December 2020.
Gadens can assist organisations to meet these new reporting requirements, together with reviewing existing policies, supplier terms and implementing risk management / due diligence frameworks to identify and appropriately respond to modern slavery risks.
Brett Feltham, Partner
Emma Corcoran, Lawyer