Client alert

NSW Modern Slavery law changes brings it in line with the country

Katherine Shamai
In June 2018, the NSW Modern Slavery Act 2018 (NSW Act) was passed – just ahead of the national approach to modern slavery. The Commonwealth’s Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth) (the Commonwealth Act) was introduced to the Commonwealth Parliament a few weeks after New South Wales.

Concerns have been raised over the past four years with regards to inconsistencies between the NSW Act and the Commonwealth Act. As a result, the NSW Government commissioned a report by the NSW Legislative Council Standing Committee on Social Issues into the NSW Act and related matters.

Following the issue of the Committee’s report and recommendations, the NSW Government supported one of the recommendations. That is, to enter into discussions with the Commonwealth with the aim of achieving hamonisation.

The Amendment Act was introduced in June 2021 and received Royal Assent on 29 November 2021, with a commencement date on 1 January 2022.

What are the changes to the NSW Act?

One of the most significant amendments of the NSW Act was the repeal of section 24, which included 2 key inconsistencies with the Commonwealth Act:

  1. The reporting threshold in the NSW Act was $50 million annual revenue, whilst the Commonwealth was $100 million consolidated revenue.
  2. The NSW Act provided for fines up to $1.1 million for failing to submit a Modern Slavery Statement or providing false or misleading information, whilst the Commonwealth Act does not provide for any financial penalties.

What does this mean for businesses operating in NSW?

The end result of these changes means there is a level of consistency for businesses to meet both state and federal obligations.

There will continue to be one supply chain transparency regime for Australian businesses as prescribed in the Commonwealth Act, which does not impose financial penalties for non-compliance.

Working with clients

Grant Thornton is continuing to work with clients to meet their Modern Slavery compliance requirements and reporting obligations. This may include a second statement of intent, as well as follow up on existing commitments. Please contact us if you need support.

Learn more about how our Modern slavery services can help you

Learn more about how our Modern slavery services can help you

Visit our Modern slavery page

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