Date posted: 23/03/2021

Are you ready to submit your modern slavery statement?

Modern slavery statements delayed from last year are now due in NSW by 31 March.

In brief

  • An extension was granted due to disruptions caused by COVID-19
  • Discussions continue between the NSW and the Commonwealth for greater harmonisation between the two Acts
  • Businesses with consolidated revenue of between A$50 million and A$100 million are encouraged to start assessing modern slavery risks now

Businesses required to prepare a modern slavery statement under the NSW Modern Slavery Act 2018 should be close to finalising their 1 January 2019 – 30 June 2020 statements, which need to be submitted by 31 March 2021.

A reporting extension was granted for 31 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 year ends due to disruptions caused by COVID-19.

As at the time of writing, 421 mandatory and 80 voluntary statements had been lodged with Australian Border Force covering 1049 entities. Chartered Accountants ANZ's modern slavery statement was published on the register in November 2020.

What is happening with the NSW Modern Slavery Act?

In September 2020, the NSW Government responded to the Legislative Council's Standing Committee on Social Issues inquiry into the Modern Slavery Act 2018 and associated matters. The Government's response showed support (in principle) for most of the recommendations in the report, including the recommended target date of 1 January 2021, which would depend on discussions with the Commonwealth on harmonisation.

There has been much speculation that the harmonisation discussions between the NSW and the Commonwealth have included the potential lowering of the reporting threshold to A$50 million (from the current A$100 million under the Commonwealth Act) and also have included the potential application of financial penalties for breaches under the NSW Act applying under the Commonwealth Act as well.

As the recommended start date has now elapsed, we wait for an announcement regarding the formal start date of the NSW Modern Slavery Act. However, it is important to note that as the start date is imminent, businesses between the A$50 million and A$100 million Commonwealth reporting threshold are encouraged to be on the front foot by starting to assess modern slavery risks now.

Find out more about modern slavery

Understand how modern slavery reporting requirements apply to your business and supply chains.

Read more

Inquiry into the NSW Modern Slavery Act 2018

Read the NSW Government's response to the Inquiry.

Read more

Chartered Accountants ANZ Modern Slavery Statement for the 2019-20 financial year

Read CA ANZ's first modern slavery statement.

Read more

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