Main provisions of the Commonwealth modern slavery legislation commenced on 1 January 2019

Prepare to meet new modern slavery reporting requirements if your organisation has an annual consolidated revenue of more than $100 million.

The Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Commonwealth) requires reporting entities to submit a modern slavery statement to the Minister for Home Affairs within six months after the end of each financial year. For most reporting entities, the first modern slavery statement will relate to the 2019/20 financial year and should be submitted by 31 December 2020.

You can view the legislation here.

The Minister will maintain an online public register of these statements. Under the Act, modern slavery includes human and orphanage trafficking and slavery-like practices such as servitude, forced labour, debt bondage and the worst forms of child labour.

The Act applies to entities based or operating in Australia with an annual consolidated revenue of more than $100 million. Under the Act, other entities based or operating in Australia will be able to report voluntarily. The statements on the online public register will be able to be accessed by the public free of charge via the internet.

Under the Act, modern slavery statements must:

1. describe the structure, operations and supply chains of the reporting entity

2. describe the risks of modern slavery practices in the operations and supply chains of the reporting entity (and any entities that the reporting entity owns or controls)

3. describe the actions taken by the reporting entity (and any entity that it owns or controls) to address those risks (include due diligence and remediation processes)

4. describe how the reporting entity assesses the effectiveness of its actions.

The modern slavery statement must be approved by the principal governing body of the reporting entity and signed by a responsible member of the entity authorised to sign it.

If a reporting entity fails to submit a modern slavery statement, the Minister may request that the reporting entity provide an explanation about this failure and/or undertake specific remedial action to address the non-compliance.


Modern Slavery Act 2018 (NSW)

On 27 June 2018, the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (NSW) received assent. Its substantive provisions have not yet commenced operation and the NSW legislation is different to the Commonwealth legislation in some significant respects. For example, the NSW legislation will also provide penalties for non-compliance and will establish an Anti-Slavery Commissioner.

In addition, the NSW legislation will apply to any corporation or association having employees in New South Wales that have a financial year turnover of at least $50 million. However, the NSW legislation provides that its mandatory reporting requirements will not apply to commercial organisations covered by the Commonwealth legislation.

You can view the NSW legislation here.


GRC Solutions is an award-winning provider of compliance training. To find out more about our upcoming Modern Slavery course which details how your business can prevent modern slavery occurring in your supply chain, and specifically what you need to do to comply with the new Commonwealth legislation, contact us today.