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Reporting Obligations Under the Modern Slavery Act 2018

by | Dec 22, 2020 | Corporate & Business

The Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth) requires entities based, or operating, in Australia, which have an annual consolidated revenue of more than $100 million, to submit annually a Modern Slavery Statement on the risks of modern slavery in their operations and supply chains, and actions to address those risks.

Other entities based, or operating, in Australia may report voluntarily.

The Commonwealth is required to report on behalf of non‑corporate Commonwealth entities, and the reporting requirements also apply to Commonwealth corporate entities and companies with an annual consolidated revenue of more than $100 million.

Reports are kept by the Minister for Home Affairs in a public repository known as the Modern Slavery Statements Register. Statements on the register may be accessed by the public, free of charge, on the internet.

‘Modern slavery’ is a broad term, which encompasses slavery, slave trading, the deprivation of civil liberties, human trafficking, forced marriage, servitude, forced and bonded labour and child labour.

An annual Modern Slavery Statement must detail, amongst other things:

  • the structure, operations and supply chains of the entity;
  • the risks of modern slavery to the entity and entities which it owns or controls;
  • the actions taken to assess and address modern slavery risks;
  • the effectiveness of the actions taken to address risks are assessed; and
  • the process of consultation with entities it owns or controls.

The date by which the first Modern Slavery Statements are to be lodged has been extended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Financial reporting period Reporting period under Modern Slavery Act Original Deadline Extended Deadline
1 July – 30 June 1 July 2019 – 30 June 2020 31 December 2020 31 March 2021
1 April – 31 March 1 April 2019 – 31 March 2020 30 September 2020 31 December 2020
1 January – 31 December 1 January 2020 – 31 December 2020 30 June 2021 30 June 2021

While there are no penalties under the Act for non-compliance, the Minister has power to publish the names of entities, who are obliged to submit statements and do not do so.

If your business comes under the Act as a reporting entity, it is vital that it finalises and lodges its first Modern Slavery Statement by the applicable deadline.

If you have any queries regarding the Act or Modern Slavery Statements, please contact Nevett Ford Lawyers on 03 9614 7111 or melbourne@nevettford.com.au.