- Australia has a Commonwealth Act which requires certain businesses to report annually
- Changes to the NSW Act commenced on 1 January 2022
- New Zealand businesses will also be required to directly or indirectly comply with disclosure requirements
Modern Slavery still exists and affects people of any age, gender or race. Modern Slavery comes in many forms, from forced labour to debt bondage to child slavery and affects people and communities. The United Nations (UN) Global Compact Network in Australia estimates that 45.8 million are affected around the world with 66.4% of modern slaves being from the Asia-Pacific region, which includes Australia and New Zealand.
In 2015, the United Kingdom introduced the UK Modern Slavery Act (MSA) 2015 which was the first of its kind in Europe, and one of the first in the world, to specifically address slavery and trafficking in the 21st century. The UK Modern Slavery Act applies to companies turning over £36 million, capturing around 19,000 businesses.
New South Wales (NSW)
In June 2018, the first Modern Slavery Bill was assented in NSW. Subsequently in November 2021, the Modern Slavery Amendment Act 2021 (Amendment Act) was passed and received royal assent. The Amendment Act resulted in the repeal of reporting obligations for commercial businesses which removed any duplication with the Commonwealth Act as well as the establishment of an Anti-Slavery Commissioner From 1 January 2022 NSW government bodies, councils and state-owned corporations have been required to review supply chains and publish a modern slavery report.
As of 1 January 2019, Australian entities (including entities carrying on business in Australia) with an annual consolidated revenue of at least $100 million have been required to prepare and submit modern slavery reports in accordance with the Modern Slavery Act 2018.
In May 2023, the report from the three-year statutory review of the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth) was tabled in Parliament and included 30 recommendations to Government. The recommendations included lowering the consolidated revenue threshold from $100 million to $50 million, the introduction of a Commonwealth Anti-slavery Commissioner and the introduction of civil penalties for non-compliance.
In July 2023, the New Zealand Government announced its intention to introduce modern slavery reporting legislation that will require organisations and businesses to be transparent about their operations and supply chains through a new public register. Organisations with over $20 million in revenue will be required to report and outline the actions they take to address exploitation risks in their operations and supply chains.
Legislation is expected to take six months to draft, and timelines will be impacted by the upcoming election.
Read our Modern Slavery statement
CA ANZ is proud to publish its modern slavery and human trafficking statements since 2020.Read more
NSW Modern Slavery ActRead More
Commonwealth Modern Slavery ActRead More
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