The Australian federal Government has now launched an online register (‘Register’) which houses modern slavery statements (‘Statements’) and is administered by the Australian Border Force. See https://modernslaveryregister.gov.au/.
What is modern slavery?
Modern slavery describes situations where offenders use coercion, threats or deception to exploit vulnerable victims and undermine freedom. Examples of modern slavery include human trafficking, child labour, forced labour and can occur across all sectors of the economy.
Who needs to report under the Act?
An entity must publish and submit annual Statements to the Register if it has a minimum annual consolidated revenue of at least AUD$100 million over its 12 month reporting period and is either:
- an Australian entity at any time over that reporting period; or
- a foreign entity carrying on business in Australia at any time over that reporting period,
The Act applies to a wide range entities including individuals, partnerships, associations, companies, trusts, superannuation funds and other types of investment organisations. This extends to both commercial entities and to not-for-profit organisations.
Multiple entities within the same corporate group to constitute as Reporting Entities. As such, it is possible for that group to submit a joint Statement which covers each Reporting Entity.
Entities that do fall within the above requirements can voluntarily report and submit their Statements via the Register too.
What is the modern slavery reporting requirement?
A Reporting Entity must prepare and submit a Statement annually.
There are seven mandatory criteria that must be addressed in a Statement which are as follows:
- identification of the Reporting Entity;
- description of the Reporting Entity’s operations, structure and supply chains;
- description of the risks of modern slavery in the operations and supply chains of the Reporting Entity and any entity it owns or controls;
- description of the actions taken by the Reporting Entity and any entities it owns or controls to assess and address these risks;
- description of how the Reporting Entity assess the effectiveness of these actions;
- description of the process of consultation with any entities the Reporting Entity owns or controls; and
- any other relevant information.
Timing of Statements
Statements must be submitted to the Australian Boarder Force within six months of the end of a Reporting Entity’s financial year. However, those timeframes have recently been extended due to the disruptions caused by COVID-19.
The table below summarises the reporting requirements.
|Reporting period||Original timeframe for submission of a Statement||New timeframe for submission of a Statement|
|1 April 2019 – 31 March 2020||30 September 2020||31 December 2020|
|1 July 2019 – 30 June 2020||31 December 2020||31 March 2021|
|Reporting period ending after 30 June 2020||The six month deadline for reporting periods ending after 30 June 2020 remains unchanged|
For further information or assistance with the preparation of a Statement please contact us.