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Businesses Must Prepare for the Future of Modern Slavery Legislation and Reporting

The Report of the statutory review of the Modern Slavery Act 2018 has been released. The statutory review, led by Professor John McMillan, AO, looks at the effectiveness of the Act over the last three years, and makes 30 recommendations to strengthen modern slavery legislation and reporting. The recommendations have a substantial impact on businesses operating in Australia and underscore the necessity for businesses to prepare now.

To uphold compliance and ethical business practices, you should review your due diligence methods, enhance your reporting practices, and stay informed on any upcoming changes.

We've put together the top 5 topics you need to know to prepare your business for the future of Modern Slavery Legislation and Reporting.

Top 5 Implications of the Modern Slavery Act 2018 Review:

1. Introduction of Penalties: Businesses must be aware of the proposed offences and penalties for non-compliance with the reporting requirements. You should ensure that you meet the reporting deadlines, provide accurate information, and have a proper due diligence system in place to avoid any legal repercussions.

2. Changes in Mandatory Reporting Criteria: A significant proposal is that the criteria for mandatory reporting obligations may be prescribed in rules or regulations rather than listing them in Section 16 of the Act. You should stay informed about any changes in the reporting requirements and ensure compliance.

3. Lowering the Reporting Threshold: It is vital to assess the revenue status of your business and understand, if you’re not already reporting, that you may soon be required to submit an annual statement if the threshold is lowered to $50 million. It’s estimated this change in threshold will mean an additional 2,393 businesses will need to complete an annual Modern Slavery Statement.

4. The Need for Effective Due Diligence: Businesses must implement a modern slavery due diligence system that meets the requirements set out in the Act and be flexible to potential changes. You should carefully review your existing systems to ensure you can easily obtain the necessary reporting data. Your annual Modern Slavery Statement should clearly describe activities undertaken to assess, address, and reduce risks.

5. Anti-Slavery Commissioner's Role, Reviews, and Guidelines: Businesses should anticipate further reviews of the Modern Slavery Act and the provision of reporting requirement guidance by the Anti-Slavery Commissioner and Attorney-General's Department. You should stay updated with any new guidelines issued by the Anti-Slavery Commissioner and consider any impacts to your reporting practices.

As the fight against modern slavery continues, businesses must remain vigilant and proactive in addressing the issue. The recommended changes to the Modern Slavery Act and reporting requirements demand immediate attention, requiring businesses to adapt their practices, stay informed, and actively engage with regulatory developments.

The iPRO Modern Slavery Assessment Tool is the fastest and most affordable way to help you deal with your modern slavery reporting obligations.


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