Enforced in January 2019, the Modern Slavery Act has required all Australian businesses with a revenue of over $100 million to produce a slavery and human trafficking statement. By understanding the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act, Australian businesses can help protect those who are at risk of being trafficked or enslaved.
This article will outline what this Act is, what businesses need to do to comply and the benefits of doing so.
What Is The Modern Slavery Act?
According to the Australian Red Cross, it is estimated that at least 1,500 and as many as 15,000 people are subject to modern slavery in Australia every year, many of which are at risk of exploitation. Modern slavery encompasses a range of abuses, including forced labour, sexual servitude and debt bondage. Unfortunately, this problem is often hidden in plain sight, and it can be difficult for the general public to identify instances of modern slavery. That is why the Australian government has introduced new laws requiring certain organisations to publish statements outlining their policies and processes regarding modern slavery.
The Modern Slavery Act is a new law that was introduced in Australia in 2017. The Act makes it mandatory for businesses to disclose their efforts to address modern slavery in their operations and supply chains. The Act applies to businesses with an annual revenue of $100 million or more and came into effect in January 2019.
Key Components of the Act Businesses Need to Be Aware of
There are five key components of the Modern Slavery Act in Australia that businesses need to be aware of:
Businesses must disclose their efforts to address modern slavery in their operations and supply chains.
Businesses have a responsibility to ensure that their operations and supply chains are free from modern slavery. This includes forced labour, child labour and human trafficking. Whilst some businesses may be unaware of the problem, others may turn a blind eye to it to save money.
However, the Modern Slavery Act requires businesses to disclose their efforts to address modern slavery in their operations and supply chains. This helps to create transparency and accountability, allowing consumers to make informed choices about the products they buy. By taking action to address modern slavery, businesses can help to create a fairer and more just world.
Businesses must prepare statements outlining their policies and processes regarding modern slavery.
With the increasing awareness of the problem of modern slavery in recent years, businesses are now required to prepare a statement outlining their policies and processes regarding modern slavery. This is intended to help ensure that companies are taking steps to prevent this type of exploitation from occurring within their supply chains.
In particular, businesses must assess the risks of modern slavery occurring and put in place appropriate measures to address these risks. They must also have a process for investigating any potential incidents of modern slavery and taking action to address them. By taking these steps, businesses can help to protect the rights of workers and ensure that they are not being exploited.
The statements must be approved by the board of directors and signed by a responsible member of the organisation.
The requirement for organisations to have their statements on modern slavery approved by their board of directors and signed by a responsible member of the organisation helps to ensure that these organisations are taking this issue seriously and are committed to addressing it. This is an important step in helping to address the problem of modern slavery in Australia.
The statements must be published on the organisation’s website.
Organisations should publish their policies and processes regarding modern slavery on their website in Australia for several reasons.
- Firstly, it helps to increase awareness of the issue of modern slavery and how it can affect businesses and employees.
- Secondly, it demonstrates the organisation’s commitment to combating modern slavery and shows that they are taking active steps to address the issue.
- Thirdly, it provides employees and other stakeholders with information about how to identify and report incidents of modern slavery.
- Finally, it helps to create transparency and accountability within the organisation, ensuring that everyone is aware of the policies and procedures in place.
Businesses must provide a copy of their statement to the Minister for Employment upon request.
As part of the Modern Slavery Act 2018, businesses must provide a copy of their statement on modern slavery policies to the Australian Minister for Employment upon request. This ensures that the Minister is aware of the measures that businesses are taking to address the risk of modern slavery in their operations and supply chains. The Minister can then use this information to help develop policy and programs to tackle modern slavery.
Businesses that fail to comply with this requirement may be liable for a civil penalty. Therefore, businesses need to ensure that they have an up-to-date statement on modern slavery policies which they can provide to the Minister upon request.
How Can Businesses Ensure They Are Compliant With the Act’s Requirements?
To ensure compliance with the Act’s requirements, businesses should take the following steps:
- Review their operations and supply chains to identify any potential instances of modern slavery.
- Develop policies and processes to address modern slavery within their operations and supply chains.
- Train employees on these policies and processes.
- Regularly monitor and audit their operations and supply chains to ensure compliance.
- Make publicly available their modern slavery statements on their website.
What Penalties Could Businesses Face for Non-Compliance?
Penalties for non-compliance with the Modern Slavery Act include fines of up to $1.1 million. In addition, businesses that do not comply with the Act may be subject to civil action, including class actions.
How Madison Marcus Can Help You
The Modern Slavery Act is a new piece of legislation that came into effect in Australia on 1 January 2019. This Act requires all businesses with an annual revenue of $100 million or more to disclose their efforts to prevent modern slavery in their operations and supply chains. If your business falls within this category, it is important to understand what the requirements are so you can comply with the law.
Here at Madison Marcus, we want to help make this process as easy as possible for you. We offer a range of services that can assist Australian businesses with complying with the Modern Slavery Act, from risk assessments and training to audits and remediation plans.For all enquiries or initial consultation, contact us here.