In our last update we shared the incredible news that the much-anticipated and long-overdue Modern Slavery Act had finally been passed. In case you missed it, the law now requires large businesses to be transparent about the ways in which they are actively working to address the risks of modern slavery within their business.

In short, NSW businesses whose annual revenue is over $50million and larger must now issue an annual statement to the Minister for Home Affairs. This statement is to outline the actions that they are taking to identify and eliminate the risks of modern slavery in their operations or supply chains. You can read the bill and it’s full requirements here.

The bill is a hugely positive step towards ending slavery in Australia as no longer will businesses be able to claim ignorance to forced labour, child labour or any kind of deceptive recruiting

There’s a lot for businesses to unpack and be mindful of in keeping with this new act. One key requirement that will have a significant impact is the onus on big business to look beyond its own operations. They will have to make certain that not only they, but their suppliers too, are operating in a way that removes the risk of modern-slavery.

It may seem at first that this bill will only seriously affect a small number of businesses who are essentially considered the ‘big players’. The domino effect from this single requirement, however, will have wide-reaching impacts across businesses of all sizes who are engaged by them too.

Businesses will need to re-examine how they pick the companies that they choose to work with and form a new selection criteria that ensures that the businesses that they work alongside are aware of and compliant with the the requirements of the new law, just as they are.

If you have your own business, you might need to give some thought to how this will affect you. Who will be responsible for maintaining a high standard of anti-slavery practices? How will you assess risk within each of your own operational departments? How will you approach the businesses you work with to certify that your supply chain is minimising slavery risks appropriately? Who will take charge of collating all the necessary data and writing your annual statement to meet the new reporting requirements?

From the very beginning, the Freedom Hub has created systems and processes to ensure its own suppliers and all the product we sell and represent are slavery free. With the new legislation, we have developed workshops to equip businesses of all sizes with the necessary tools and information to comply with new legal requirements.

Curious about the Freedom Hub workshops? Contact us: [email protected]