Note: missing links in our August newsletter are here: Cafe/Events  & Ethical Shopping

 Ethical Business August 2020 Update.

A lot is going on in the fight to end modern slavery. Many businesses are well on their way to assessing their risk of slavery in their supply chain. Submitting a Modern Slavery Statement is a requirement for large entities but at the Freedom Hub, we think EVERY business should be submitting one. Remember this is about assessing risk of slavery, not declaring you have none. Let’s face it, every business, every home and every person has slaves working for them.

Here is why we think EVERY business should submit a statement.

1 It’s Responsible Business: “Modern slavery in supply chains distorts global markets, undercuts responsible business, and poses significant legal and reputational risks for companies,” said Vice President and Managing Director, ACC Australia and Asia Pacific, Tanya Khan.

“By reporting, Australian entities are shining a light on this insidious practice, which represents a false economy based on human misery. We urge all entities, even those below the revenue threshold, to review their operations and consider their risks and exposure to modern slavery.” Mirage News.

2 It creates a Profitable Business Environment: From an ethical business perspective, we believe this will level the playing field. Are you sick of your competitors cutting costs? Or the constant driving prices down? What about the discounting and having constant sales? As a result of these, there is a push on the demand for cheap labour. Also, there is an unrealistic demands on supply. By slowing down and paying people properly, economies will thrive, the environment will be grateful and we can compete fairly with good old fashioned customer service and quality goods.

3 It is just ‘Good’ Business: customers will love you and your employees will love you. So will large companies love you. Why? Because large businesses (over $100m revenue) that must comply will be looking for smaller businesses who have submitted a slavery statement. Have you got large customers that you supply or do you want to have them? This is your opportunity to show you are a great supplier. So customers who want to shop ethically will be looking for businesses that have submitted a statement. And to add to the argument, research has shown that a high percentage Gen Y employees will change companies to work for one that ‘gives back’ to society and is not just grabbing at profits.

Voluntary Modern Slavery Statement

Any Australian entity or foreign entity carrying on a business in Australia can provide a voluntary statement. Even if they do not meet the thresholds for mandatory reporting. So if you want to submit a voluntary modern slavery statement, just advise the ABF prior to preparing your statement. You can do this by emailing slavery.consultations@abf.gov.au. 

Australian Border Force (ABF) recommend you: ‘carefully consider your capacity and resources to prepare a voluntary statement before making a commitment. Once you have volunteered to report and the related reporting period commences, you will be bound as though you were a mandatory reporting entity. If you are unsure about whether to report voluntarily, or think you need more time to prepare, you could choose to instead prepare a voluntary statement. And you can make it available on your website. The statement should clearly identify whether it has been formally submitted to the ABF as a voluntary statement.’   Read more.

Tools to Help You

The Law Council and ACC have put out a great short Modern Slavery Act fact sheet can be found online here.

Mindaroo – Walk Free, have also provided and TOOLKIT. ‘This toolkit is designed to help businesses and investors take action to improve human rights standards in their supply chains and combat forced labour, human trafficking and other forms of modern slavery. It contains links to case studies, research, legal frameworks and tools produced by Walk Free and other civil society organisations from around the world.’

If you want personalised help that is specific to your business, The Freedom Hub will help coach you through the requirements. Sometimes you have specific questions you want answers to. Or, you might just want to look at how we did it. Practical advise from another business that has gone before you. We have trained and equipped many small businesses in how to do this. So just contact us here to organise a chat.

How to Submit your Statement

Businesses and entities can upload statements to the Australian Government’s Online Register for Modern Slavery Statements. The ABF will review all the statements. They will assess your compliance with the seven requirements in the Act and may require entities to revise non-compliant statements.If you decide not to submit yet but want to write a powerful statement for your website, The Freedom Hub can also help you with that.

Stay up to date with all that is happening to end modern slavery by receiving our monthly newsletter.

NSW Modern Slavery Statement

Calling all anti-slavery activists in NSW. It’s time to DO something that will significantly help end children being forced into slavery; women and men being worked to the bone with no pay and the criminals that exploit the poor and vulnerable in our world, lose their grip.

It is not as hard as you think! We simply need you to sign a petition. How can your signature make a difference? It will help activate a law in NSW (that was passed unanimously back in 2018) that will force big business to source their products ethically.

This law is still not active. This is unacceptable. If large businesses (over $50mill in revenue) stopped the demand for free/exploited labour, MILLIONS of people will be paid a living wage for their work. NSW can have a huge impact, with Sydney as a thriving business hub.

So a few minutes of your time can literally impact global slavery. Please respond. Here are the details:

The steps for completing the ePetition are simple:

1. Click on the following linkhttps://bit.ly/31MIc1q;
2. Scroll down to “Proclaim the NSW Modern Slavery Act 2018 Now” and click;
3. Enter your details;
4. Tick relevant boxes and
5. Click on “Sign”.

Get your friends and family on board if you are an influencer! Let’s get the NSW Modern Slavery Act moving.

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More blogs you may be interested in:

What the modern slavery act means for Australian business

Exploitation in to Modern Slavery – what Australia is doing about it?

Spotlight on fruit picking and modern slavery

 

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