Businesses with an annual consolidated revenue of $100M or more are required to prepare a Modern Slavery Statement and lodge it with the regulator where it will be published online in a central register. The deadline for reporting for the 2020-2021 year is approaching, with Statements due to the regulator by 31 December 2021. ACAPMA stands ready to assist Members with the process of understanding Modern Slavery and implementing the systems required internally to address it.

For reporting businesses this years Statement will be the second Modern Slavery Statement provided in 2021, as the 2020 Statements, originally due by December 2020 were deferred by COVID to March 2021.

Requirement Recap

The Modern Slavery Act 2018 came into force on 1 January 2019 and requires all businesses with an annual consolidated revenue of $100M or more to produce a Modern Slavery Statement and provide it to the regulator.

Modern Slavery Statement must set out the businesses actions to assess and address modern slavery risks in their global operations and supply chains. The Statements are then published through an online central register

Modern Slavery Statements for the 2020/2021 financial year are due to be submitted by 31 December 2021.

What is Modern Slavery?

Modern slavery describes situations where offenders use coercion, threats or deception to exploit victims and undermine their freedom.

Practices that constitute modern slavery can include:

  • human trafficking
  • slavery
  • servitude
  • forced labour
  • debt bondage
  • forced marriage, and
  • the worst forms of child labour

Modern slavery is a term used to describe serious exploitation. It does not include practices like substandard working conditions or underpayment of workers, though these practices are also harmful and may be present in some situations of modern slavery. For further information on workplace rights and obligations in Australia, Members are reminded to reach out to ACAPMA.

Modern slavery can occur in every industry and sector and has severe consequences for victims. Modern slavery also distorts global markets, undercuts responsible business and can pose significant legal and reputational risks to entities.

Businesses have a responsibility to respect human rights in their operations and supply chains, as outlined in the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. This includes taking steps to assess and address modern slavery risks.

Taking action to combat modern slavery also makes good business sense. Businesses that take action to combat modern slavery in their operations and supply chains can protect against possible business harm and improve the integrity and quality of their supply chains.

They can also increase profitability, investor confidence and access to financing opportunities.

The Australian Government is taking a global leadership role in combating modern slavery. There is no place for modern slavery in the Australian community or in the global supply chains of Australian goods and services.

ACAPMA Assistance

ACAPMAs Employment Department is available to assist Members in navigating these requirements and in working with suppliers and internal stakeholders to grow and develop the systems within Member businesses to identify, manage and remove modern slavery risks.

ACAPMA Members who meet the reporting requirements (annual consolidated revenue of $100M or more) are advised to reach out to employment@acapma.com.au for assistance.

Here to Help

HR Highlights are things to consider, implement and watch out for in your business.  They are provided as general information for you to consider and do not constitute advice.  You should seek further advice on your situation by contacting your legal advisor.  ACAPMA members can access resources and receive advice, guidance and support from the ACAPMA employment professionals via employment@acapma.com.au, it is free for members.  ACAPMA Membership delivers this and more benefits, see; https://acapma.com.au/membership/  for more information.

 

Elisha Radwanowski BCom(HRM&IR)
ACAPMA

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