The Modern Slavery Act 2018 sets out the reporting requirements for Australian entities on the modern slavery risks, both existing and potential, in their business. Part of this legislation is the need for Modern Slavery Statements to be submitted to the Australian Government by particular entities. In this article, we’ll look at who needs to report, how to prepare a statement and what to include in it.
Who needs to submit a Modern Slavery Statement in Australia?
Any Australian entity or entity which carries out business in Australia with a consolidated annual revenue of $100 million or more must submit a modern slavery statement under the Modern Slavery Act 2018. However, entities which earn under $100 million annually may also submit a voluntary statement. It’s important to note that entities that submit voluntary statements are subject to the same responsibilities as mandatory reporting entities during that reporting period.
Alternatively, you can display your voluntary Modern Slavery Statement on your website in lieu of submitting it to the Government, as long as you make it clear whether or not you have formally submitted it to the Australian Border Force or not.
How to prepare and submit your Modern Slavery Statement to the Australian Government
To prepare and submit your modern slavery statement to the Australia Border Force take the following steps:
- Step 1. Review the guidance materials located on the Modern Slavery Register website.
The Australian Government’s Modern Slavery Register website contains a range of detailed guidance materials to guide you through the process of writing, submitting and updating your modern slavery statement.
- Step 2. View Modern Slavery Statements written by similar entities.
Reviewing sample Modern Slavery Statements from similar-sized entities in your sector will help you get an idea of what to include in your own statement. The Register allows users to view all existing statements and results can be filtered by industry, country of headquarters, revenue and reporting period.
- Step 3. Prepare your statement
Prepare your modern slavery statement, making sure to include the seven compulsory reporting criteria. See the information below on what to include in your modern slavery statement.
- Step 4. Create a Modern Slavery Register account
Head to modernslaveryregister.gov.au and click the “Sign Up” button in the top right corner. You will need an email address and mobile phone number to create an account and will need to create a 10 character password.
- Step 5. Submit your statement
In the modern slavery register portal, upload your modern slavery statement and supporting documents including an approvement and signed statement annexure document (found in the guidance material section of the modern slavery register website’s resources page) for the nominated period, e.g. 2021-22.
What to include in your modern slavery statement
The requirements of your entity’s Modern Slavery Statement will vary depending on whether you are reporting voluntarily or mandatorily. As a general guide, your modern slavery statement should include:
- Modern Slavery Statement overview
- An overview of your business
- Information on your entity’s operations and policies
- Modern slavery risks in areas such as:
- Finance and banking
- Wealth and investments
- Supply chain and workforce
- Actions that have been taken to address modern slavery risks
- Remediation strategies
- Assessment of the effectiveness of risk mitigation and remediation strategies
- Future commitments to reducing modern slavery risks
If you are reporting on as a mandatory reporting entity (one with a consolidated revenue of over $100 million annually) you will need to include the seven mandatory reporting criteria listed below.
The seven mandatory reporting criteria for Modern Slavery Statements in Australia
Reporting entities who are mandatorily required to provide the Australian Border Force with a modern slavery statement must include the following seven items in their statement:
- The reporting entity’s identity
- The reporting entity’s operations, structure and supply chains
- An assessment of the entity’s modern slavery risks of modern slavery practices in its operations and supply chains and those of any entities which the reporting entity controls or owns
- Any actions that have been taken to assess and mitigate modern slavery risks in the reporting entity and entities it controls or owns
- Information on how the reporting entity has been assessing the effectiveness of its modern slavery risk reduction actions
- Information on the consultation process undertaken by the reporting entity with any entities that it controls or owns or with which it is issuing a joint statement
- Any further relevant information
Modern Slavery Policy Template for Australian Entities
Even if you’re not legally required to submit a modern slavery statement, it’s best practice to include a statement on your website for public viewing. As part of your business strategy, you should address the items in the template below and address any risks in your business and supply chain.