Section 16 of the Commonwealth Modern Slavery Act sets out the mandatory criteria for modern slavery statements. These statements must include:
Section 24(5) is the equivalent section of the New South Wales Modern Slavery Act setting out the mandatory criteria. The New South Wales criteria largely mirrors the Commonwealth criteria but also makes it mandatory to include in the statement:
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR MODERN SLAVERY IN YOUR ORGANISATION
Modern Slavery statements are required to be approved by the Board of Directors (or equivalent) level and signed by a director. This ensures the accountability for organisations at the highest level.
The risks associated with non -compliance of the Modern Slavery Acts are multifaceted. In New South Wales penalties for non-compliance are 10,000 penalty units which is equivalent to. $1.1M Under the Commonwealth Legislation failure to comply may result in the publication of information about the organisations failure to comply including the organisations identity. Accordingly, not only is there a direct financial penalty for non-compliance but significant brand, reputational and commercial effect.