Why your company needs to address slavery
Nurture Marketing Specialist at Kineo APAC
Slavery? Isn’t that something that used to happen? Or something that happens only in the darkest corners of the globe... Surely it doesn’t exist today and my organisation would never be involved... Surely.
No, slavery is real and all too common in today’s world. Unfortunately, slavery is a common part of business, especially supply chains. While slavery and servitude still exists, ‘Modern slavery’ often takes the form of child labour, forced marriage, human trafficking and debt bondage.
Ignoring this reality may now be illegal. The Australian government has mandated that large Australian companies report on their slavery risks and how they are addressing these risks.
Is your organisation required by law to investigate slavery?
Australian or foreign entities with annual Australian consolidated revenues over $100 million are required to make an annual report.
There are seven criteria that must be satisfied. In short, organisations must describe their risk and the action they are taking to assess and address the risk. It’s important to note that the risk is not isolated to the entity itself. Any risk existing in organisations that supply to your organisation must be investigated and included in the reporting statement.
How organisations not described in this legislation may still get caught out.
If your organisation’s revenues are below the mandatory threshold, but you supply to organisations that do need to report, these larger organisations may expect you to assist in their investigations. Large organisations required by law to report will need to investigate their suppliers for risks of modern slavery.
How can we address these risks?
Education is a great way to start. Ensuring your team properly understands this issue and factor the risk into their business dealings will help. Another great way is to have close relationships with your suppliers so you understand how they do business and with whom.
Bet on self-interest
While we’d all like to live in a word free of modern slavery, there is also a financial incentive to stamp out these supply-chain risks. The Department of Home Affairs will manage an online repository of these statements. Your organisation’s risk-level and commitment to ending slavery will be public. Organisations may not want to do business with higher risk suppliers that negatively affect their mandatory statement or their public image.
The time is now
Reports must be submitted to the minister within 6-months of the end of the reporting period. That’s December 2020 if you follow the Australian financial year. Preparing your report should start now.
Modern slavery must end
40.3 million people are estimated to be modern slaves. Slavery is not something that used to happen. It is an insidious part of our supply chains that must be eradicated.
Minimise your organisational risk and help to eradicate Modern Slavery. Kineo’s elearning course, created with subject matter expert Thomson Geer, provides an understanding of what modern slavery is, how organisations can minimise their risk of being involved with it, and the mandatory reporting obligations.