Date posted: 23/08/2018 5 min read

Modern Slavery and the reporting requirements

Understand how Modern Slavery Reporting Requirements apply to your business and supply chains.

In brief

  • The Modern Slavery Reporting Requirement seeks to assist the business community in Australia to take proactive and effective actions to address modern slavery
  • Australia has a Federal and NSW Act and businesses should be aware of implications and obligations under both pieces of legislation
  • New Zealand businesses will also be required to directly or indirectly comply with disclosure requirements

An estimated 46 million people worldwide are victims of slavery. Australia has joined the global regulatory trend with businesses taking responsibility for mitigating modern slavery in their operations and supply chains. Businesses will be required to report on an annual basis on the risks and their actions. 

In June 2018, the first Modern Slavery Bill was assented by the NSW Parliament affecting entities that supply goods and services for profit or gain, with employees in NSW and with annual revenues over $50 million. While the regulations are still being drafted in NSW, the Federal Government has also issued a Modern Slavery Bill which is being considered by parliament. The Federal Bill will apply to all types of entities, including commonwealth government entities that carry out business in Australia with annual revenues over $100m. 

Businesses are encouraged to start preparing for the changes now. Organisations below the threshold may also be impacted as customers do due diligence through their supply chain. Additionally, EY have estimated that the Federal legislation would require up to 500 New Zealand businesses to comply with disclosure requirements, either directly or in response to requests for information from other companies that will be required to report.  

NSW Modern Slavery Bill

Further details on the NSW bill and the penalties (of up to $1.1 million) that will apply for non-compliance can be found on the NSW Parliament website

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Commonwealth Modern Slavery Bill

Further information and the current status of the Commonwealth bill can be found on the Parliament of Australia website.

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Laws passed to fight modern slavery

NSW companies with yearly turnover of not less than $50 million now need to publish a yearly modern slavery statement or face fines. CA ANZ will help accountants prepare for new reporting rules.

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