24 January 2020

Australia’s first modern slavery statements are due this year: are you ready?

This article was written by Daniel Fielding and Daisy Mallett.

Is your first modern slavery statement due in 2020?

If your business is caught by the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth) (the Act), you may have your first modern slavery statement due this year.  Modern slavery statements are due within 6 months of the end of the financial year that commenced after 1 January 2019. This means that, for the majority of Australian businesses, your first modern slavery statements will be due no later than 30 September or 31 December 2020.

Recap of Modern Slavery Act reporting obligations

Who: Entities that have an annual consolidated revenue of at least AU$100 million and are either an Australian entity or a foreign entity carrying on business in Australia.

When: Businesses will have different reporting due dates depending on whether they operate under a calendar year, the Australian financial year, or a foreign financial year. The due dates for each financial year are outlined in the table below.

Entity’s annual reporting period
First reporting period under the Act   Due date for Statement
Foreign Financial Year i.e. UK
(1 April – 31 March)
 1 April 2019 – 31 March 2020
 No later than 30 September 2020
Australian Financial Year
(1 July – 30 June)
 1 July 2019 – 30 June 2020
 No later than 31 December 2020
Calendar Year
(1 January – 31 December)
 1 January 2020 – 31 December 2020
 No later than 30 June 2021

What: Modern slavery statements must include the following elements:

  • identify the reporting entity;
  • describe the structure, operations and supply chains of the reporting entity;
  • describe risks of modern slavery to the entity and entities which the reporting entity owns or controls;
  • describe actions taken to assess and address risks;
  • describe how the effectiveness of the actions taken to address risks are assessed; and
  • describe the process of consultation with entities the reporting entity owns or controls.

If you have your first modern slavery statement due in 2020, you will already be in your first reporting period and so will be expected to have identified risks of modern slavery in your entity, taken action to assess and address those risks and assessed the effectiveness of those actions.

KWM can work with you to:

  • identify modern slavery risks in your supply chains;
  • develop internal anti-slavery policies and frameworks;
  • consider and amend your procurement agreements;
  • develop due diligence, culture and corporate governance guidelines;
  • conduct awareness seminars for boards, executives, legal and procurement teams; and
  • assist with preparing, drafting, or reviewing your modern slavery statements.


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