Entities that carried on business in Australia and had a consolidated revenue above $100 million in FY2021 are required to submit a modern slavery statement prior to 31 December 2021.
The Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth) commenced in 2019 and requires certain entities to submit annual modern slavery statements that set out how they are addressing the risks of modern slavery in their businesses and supply chains.
Entities covered by the Act with a reporting period between 1 July 2020 and 30 June 2021 must submit their modern slavery statements for FY2021 by 31 December 2021. A failure to submit by this date may lead to the Minister for Home Affairs taking action against the entity.
Who is required to submit a modern slavery statement?
The modern slavery reporting regime is only mandatory for a ‘reporting entity’. This refers to an entity that:
- had a consolidated revenue of at least $100 million for the reporting period, and
- is an Australian entity, or carried on business in Australia, at any time during the reporting period.
The regime also applies to the Commonwealth Government and certain Commonwealth entities and companies.
What must be included in a modern slavery statement?
The Act sets out mandatory criteria that must be included in all modern slavery statements. This includes detailed particulars of the reporting entity’s business operations and supply chains, the risks of modern slavery practices occurring in its business and the actions taken by the reporting entity to address those risks.
Once submitted, all modern slavery statements are published on a public register to ensure transparency and accountability among reporting entities.
When are modern slavery statements due?
Though the reporting deadlines for FY2020 were extended, these deadlines have returned to normal for FY2021. Eligible entities with a reporting period of 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021 must submit their modern slavery statement by 31 December 2021.
If a reporting entity fails to meet this deadline, the Minister for Home Affairs may request that the entity provide a reason for its non-compliance and undertake specified remedial action. If a reporting entity does not comply with these requests, the Minister may publish details of the entity’s non-compliance on the public register, which is likely to have negative reputational consequences for the entity.
With the due date for submission fast approaching, entities should consider whether they are covered by the modern slavery regime and ensure their modern slavery statements comply with the requirements of the Act.