Modern Slavery Act review released

June 7, 2023
2 min read
Louise Horrocks

On May 25th, the statutory review of the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth) was tabled in Parliament. The review, led by Professor John McMillan AO, analysed the operation of the Act since its commencement.  

Unsurprisingly, the review has made 30 recommendations to strengthen the Act, to ensure it effectively combats modern slavery risks in domestic operations and supply chains and globally.

Key recommendations include:

  • the introduction of a mandatory due diligence process for reporting entities;
  • penalties for non-compliance with statutory reporting requirements; and  
  • the appointment of a Commonwealth Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner.

Other recommendations also include:

  • lowering the reporting threshold from $100 million in annual revenue to $50 million;
  • requiring entities to report on modern slavery incidents or risks;
  • strengthening the administration of the Act through proposed legislative amendments; and  
  • expanding administrative guidance.

From here, the Government has the recommendations for review and will consult across government and other stakeholders to formulate its response. It is not known which review recommendations will be adopted; however, commitments have been made to the introduction of financial penalties for non-compliance and funding for the appointment of an Anti-Slavery Commissioner in the May Federal Budget.  

It is likely that businesses will soon be required to take substantial actions to meet the new Modern Slavery Act standards, and it is recommended that proactive steps are taken to best prepare for when the reforms to the Act are finalised. Entities should be aware of transparency when reporting on modern slavery risks as the implementation of any of these recommendations will increase scrutiny of directors and their modern slavery responsiveness.

Please speak to Louise Horrocks to understand these developments and how your operations can efficiently respond.