Date posted: 6/04/2020 3 min read

Inquiry into the NSW Modern Slavery Act 2018

Report from NSW standing committee on social issues has been released.

In Brief

  • 17 recommendations were released from the inquiry
  • One recommends harmonising the reporting threshold between the NSW Government and the Australian Government
  • The Modern Slavery Act in NSW will start on or before 1 January 2021

A NSW report into modern slavery legislation has recommended harmonising the reporting threshold at A$50 million consolidated revenue as a key reform for a standard national approach.

The Modern Slavery Act 2018 (NSW), the consultation draft of the Modern Slavery Bill 2019, and the consultation draft of the Modern Slavery Regulation 2019 (NSW), were referred to the NSW Parliament Legislative Council Standing Committee on Social Issues (standing committee) in 2019 to determine the operability of the proposed scheme and associated matters. CA ANZ provided feedback on the terms of reference released by the standing committee as a part of the inquiry.

The standing committee released Report 56 on 25 March 2020 that outlines its recommendations based on findings from the inquiry. The committee expresses support for the NSW Act, based on the evidence in this inquiry as to its many world-leading features, including a robust supply chain transparency scheme for business and government, an anti-slavery commissioner, the creation of new modern slavery offences, support for victims, and the establishment of a parliamentary committee to provide oversight.

The committee recommends that the NSW Act should start on or before 1 January 2021 and supports supply chain reporting obligations placed on businesses with a turnover of A$50 million to A$100 million under s 24 of the NSW Act.

The committee recommends that the NSW Government works with the Australian Government to seek harmonisation of the reporting threshold. Recommendations also cover charities, the not-for-profits sector, and local councils.

The standing committee outlined 17 key recommendations, including:

  • amending the reporting threshold terminology in section 24 of Modern Slavery Act 2018 to replace the term 'turnover' with 'consolidated revenue'
  • that the NSW Government and the Interim Anti-Slavery Commissioner continue to work with businesses that meet the reporting threshold under section 24 of the Modern Slavery Act 2018 to ensure that reporting requirements are as simple as possible and clearly explained in the guidance material
  • that the NSW Government reassesses the exemption for charities and not-for-profit organisations from section 24 of the Modern Slavery Act 2018, including by seeking input from the charity and not-for-profit sector and considering mechanisms to support the sector to meet the reporting requirement.

NSW Parliament website

Read the standing committees’ report on Modern Slavery Act 2018, associated matters and the 17 recommendations.

Read More

Facing weighing career decisions or ethical dilemmas?

Chartered Accountants Advisory Group (CAAG) provides free, confidential counselling and support to CA ANZ members.

Find out more