Insights / May 26th, 2023

Amendments to the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth) - what does this mean for existing reporting entities and entities now captured as reporting entities?

The review paper outlining the recommended changes to the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth) (“Act”) was released yesterday and will be tabled for parliament’s consideration shortly (“Review Paper”). The Review Paper makes thirty (30) recommendations for amendments to the Act.

The most prevalent recommendations that have been made under the Review Paper are:

  1. Changing the definition of a “reporting entity” to an entity with an annual consolidated revenue threshold of $50 million (currently an entity with an annual consolidated revenue threshold $100 million).

  2. Introduction of financial penalties for non-compliance with the Act. Non-compliance with the Act includes failing to submit a Modern Slavery Statement, submitting falsified information within the Modern Slavery Statement, or failing to have due diligence system in place as part of the entities’ modern slavery compliance framework.

  3. Adding new mandatory reporting criteria that would require the reporting entity to report on:

                 • Modern slavery incidents or risks identified during the reporting period.

                 • Grievance and complaint mechanisms available to staff and other stakeholders.

                 • Internal and external consultation undertaken during the reporting year on modern slavery risk management.

  1. Imposing a positive obligation for reporting entities to have a due diligence system (i.e., to undertake due diligence) and to report on actions undertaken in accordance with that system in the Modern Slavery Statement. Currently, there is a “phase in” approach proposed for this requirement for entities with a consolidated revenue threshold between $50 million and $100 million (i.e., entities who currently aren’t mandatorily reporting under the Act).

  2. The listing of “high risk” regions, locations, industry, products, suppliers, or supply chains by the Attorney General or the Anti-Slavery Commissioner.

Accordingly, entities who meet the $50 million consolidated revenue threshold who are not currently reporting under the Act should be aware of the impact that these proposed amendments may have on their organisations and be ready to implement compliance measures ahead of potential required compliance with the Act.

For more information, please see our in-depth article outlining the proposed changes to the Act and what this means for existing reporting entities and entities who may be caught under the new reporting threshold.

If you would like advice about the proposed changes to the Act, please do not hesitate to reach out to the ESG Team.

For more information about our Modern Slavery Compliance Digital Solution please click here.

You can read the article by clicking here or the link below.