The Modern Slavery Act 2018: Guidance for Reporting Entities

FairSupply | 14 July 2021

The Modern Slavery Act 2018: Guidance for Reporting Entities


The Modern Slavery Reporting Requirement (set out in Part 2 of the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth)) requires Australian entities and foreign entities (whether commercial or not for profit) carrying on business in Australia with a consolidated annual revenue of AUD$100 million and greater to publish an annual Modern Slavery Statement.

Modern Slavery Statements must provide a description of actions taken by that entity to assess and address modern slavery risks in their operations and supply chains. The Act’s requirements directly affect over 3000 Australian businesses.


What is modern slavery? A leglislative definition and how it relates to entities


The MSA is the first legislation of its kind on the global stage. It defines modern slavery as a domestic legal concept and includes eight types of serious exploitation being: trafficking in persons; slavery, servitude; forced marriage; forced labour; debt bondage; the worst forms of child labour; and deceptive recruiting for labour or services.

16 out of the 40 million victims of modern slavery around the world are exploited in the private economy distorting global markets and undermining responsible business. Fulsome compliance with legislative mandate for entities to address modern slavery in their operations and supply chains mitigates against significant reputational and legal risks, including damage to commercial relationships.



Reporting Requirements


Reporting Entities


Under the Act, an entity refers to an individual, partnership, association, company, trust, superannuation and investment organisations. Reporting entities can be commercial or not-for profit.

Entities are required to submit a statement in Australia that fulfills the requirement of the Act even if they have to report in another country (e.g. under the UK Modern Slavery Act).

Entities must report if they have a consolidated revenue of at least AU$100 million over the twelve-month reporting period AND are an Australian entity for any time of the reporting period OR is a foreign entity carrying on business in Australia for any time of the reporting period.

Australian entities under the Act are companies, trusts or corporate limited partnerships that are residents of Australia for income tax purposes. An entity is also an Australian entity if it is formed or incorporated in Australia or if the central management of the entity is located in Australia.

Foreign entities are entities that carry on business in Australia as determined by section 21 of the Commonwealth Corporations Act. Foreign entities are registered with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission.



Reporting Periods


In general, Modern Slavery Statements are due within six months of the end of the reporting period. Upcoming deadlines include the following:



Mandatory Criteria for Modern Slavery Statements


There are seven mandatory criteria that must be included in each statement:

1. Identify the reporting entity

2. Describe the entity’s structure, operations and supply chains

3. Describe the risks of modern slavery in the operations and supply chains of the reporting entity

and entities it owns or controls

4. Describe actions taken by the entity and entities it owns or controls to assess and address the risks

(this includes due diligence and remediation)

5. Describe how the reporting entity assesses the effectiveness of the actions

6. Describe the process of consultation with entities that the reporting entity owns or controls

7. Provide any other relevant information

A Modern Slavery Statement must be approved by the principal governing body of the reporting entity and signed by a responsible member of the reporting entity. The statement is to be provided to the Australian Border Force within six months after the end of the reporting period to be published on the online register.


Download Our Detailed Guidance


For detailed guidance on how to prepare a Modern Slavery Statement, download our free report: The Modern Slavery Act 2018: Guidance for Reporting Entities in Under 10 Minutes.

For further information and assistance please contact Kimberly Randle, Executive Director and Principal Lawyer.

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