On January 1, 2019, the Australia Modern Slavery Act 2018 went into effect. The law asks all businesses operating in Australia with a consolidated revenue of more than $100 million (Australian), to file annual statements on efforts to address the risk of forced and child labor in the supply chain. The statements will then be publicly available through a government facilitated database. These statements are due beginning in 2020.

Although submitting a statement is voluntary, not complying with this law could have serious repercussions on a company’s reputation, return on investment, and overall profits due to negative public opinion. It has been shown that investors are putting pressure on companies to strengthen social impact programs, including addressing the risk of forced labor in the supply chain.

Submitting a public statement that discloses a company’s efforts to address forced labor could greatly benefit the company, resulting in increased profits and return on investment. The statement should include the steps the company takes to identify and remediate the risk of forced labor in the supply chain.

The International Supply Chain Initiative can assist with developing meaningful policies and procedures for combatting the risk of forced labor in the supply chain. After conducting a liability assessment to identify your company’s risk of forced labor, ISCI can develop a remediation plan to protect your company and increase its social impact. ISCI can also draftstatements for public disclosure, in compliance with growing international modern slavery legislation, outlining your company’s efforts to fight forced labor and improve sustainability in the supply chain. To learn more, please contact the International Supply Chain Initiative for a consultation.