Yep it is 2020 and that means many businesses need to complete and lodge their Modern Slavery Statement this year. We wrote about it last year here and here, but now is definitely the time to start your response if you haven't already.

What do you need to do?

  • The number one non-negotiable obligation is to investigate your supply chain and prepare a Modern Slavery Statement. Statements need to be lodged with the Australian Border Force by 31 December for most business which need to comply.

However, a Modern Slavery Statement is just the beginning. The Act requires businesses to state how they are assessing and addressing risks of modern slavery, what they do when they find it, and how effective those measures are.

How do you do that?

  • Prepare due diligence programs for existing and new suppliers. Investigating your current suppliers and having a pre-engagement process to check out new suppliers is critical.
  • Prepare policies and provide training to your staff on modern slavery. Your staff need to know what to look for and how to discuss modern slavery with suppliers.
  • Include modern slavery provisions in your contracts. These should oblige suppliers to provide all the information and assistance you need to meet your obligations. The legislation does not actually oblige businesses to stop slavery in supply chains, just to report on the risks of its presence.
  • Have a remediation plan. This is hard. It's likely you will find slavery in your supply chain when you start looking, and this will be pretty upsetting for those who uncover it. We suggest having clear procedures for reporting to local authorities and/or humanitarian organisations.

We do not disclaim anything about this article. We're quite proud of it really.