Modern slavery can take the form of forced or unpaid labour, wage theft, child labour, human trafficking, slavery, servitude, unsafe conditions, substandard accommodation, debt bondage, passport confiscation, and deceitful hiring methods.
40.3 million people are estimated to be modern slaves. This equates to 5.4 victims of modern slavery for every 1,000 people across the globe. 1 in 4 victims of modern slavery are children. It is an insidious part of our supply chains that must be eradicated.
Legislation to combat modern slavery has been in force since 1 January 2019 and The Australian Government has mandated that Australian companies with annual Australian consolidated revenues over $100 million report on their slavery risks. The Federal Government launched the Modern Slavery Register on 30 July 2020, on World Day against Trafficking in Persons. The register provides a public repository of modern slavery statements.
The first reporting deadline was the 31 December 2020.
Is your organisation affected by Modern Slavery?
There are several criteria that must be
satisfied to submit a modern slavery statement. In short, organisations must
describe their risk and the action they are taking to assess and address the
risk. It’s important to note that the risk is not isolated to the entity
itself. Any risk existing in organisations that supply to your organisation
must be investigated and included in the reporting statement.
At this stage, while no financial penalties apply for non-compliance, reputational damage could well apply.
How organisations not described in this legislation may still get caught out.
If your organisation’s revenues fall below the mandatory threshold, yet you supply to organisations that do need to report, these larger organisations may expect you to assist in their investigations. Large organisations required by law to report will need to investigate their suppliers for risks of modern slavery.
How can organisations address the risks associated with Modern Slavery?
Education is a great way to start. Ensuring your team properly understands this issue and factor the risk into their business dealings will help. Another great way is to have close relationships with your suppliers, so you understand how they do business, and with whom.
While we’d all like to live in a word free of modern slavery, there is also a financial incentive to stamp out these supply-chain risks. Your organisation’s risk-level and commitment to ending slavery will be open for public scrutiny. Organisations may not want to do business with higher risk suppliers that negatively affect their mandatory statement or their public image.
Modern slavery must end
Minimise your organisational risk and help to eradicate Modern Slavery, created with subject matter expert Thomson Geer, and endorsed by Unchained Business Services, provides an understanding of what modern slavery is, how organisations can minimise their risk of being involved with it, and the mandatory reporting obligations.
An excerpt of Kineo’s Modern Slavery course provides insight on what learners can expect.
What additional workplace training do we offer?