Are you wondering what the Modern Slavery Act is really going to do? How can this Modern Slavery Act change the way we do business in Australia?
In our last update we shared the incredible news that the long-overdue Modern Slavery Act had finally been passed. In case you missed it….
The law now requires large businesses to be transparent about risks of modern slavery within their business.
NSW Modern Slavery Act
In short, NSW businesses whose annual revenue is over $50million must now issue an annual statement to the Minister for Home Affairs. This statement outlines 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. So businesses will no longer be able to claim ignorance to forced labour, child labour or any kind of deceptive recruiting.
There’s a lot for businesses to unpack. They need to be mindful of being in keeping with this new act. There is one key requirement that will have a significant impact. The onus on big business to look beyond its own operations. They will have to make certain that:
1. they are analysing risk of slavery in their own operations and procedures
2. their suppliers 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. That is businesses who are essentially considered the ‘big players’. But the domino effect from this single requirement, will have wide-reaching impacts across businesses of all sizes who are engaged by them.
Businesses will need to re-examine how they pick the companies that they choose to work with. They will need to 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.
How does this Impact your Business?
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?
The Freedom Hub has created systems and processes to ensure its own suppliers and all the product we sell and represent are slavery free. We have been doing that for five years.
We have developed workshops to equip businesses of all sizes with the tools and information to comply with new legal requirements.