Is your business contributing to modern slavery?
1 April 2019 at 1:56 pm
Australia’s first law firm dedicated to helping business comply with state and federal Modern Slavery Acts has launched in a bid to help business become more humanitarian, without losing any of the profits.
Fair Supply, which officially launched on Wednesday, will partner with organisations in NSW to incorporate the requirements of the Commonwealth and state acts into their business practices.
The Commonwealth Modern Slavery Act, which was passed late last year, requires organisations with consolidated revenues over $100 million to report annually on the risks of slavery in their operations and supply chains.
In NSW, the Modern Slavery Act affects organisations with consolidated revenues of $50 million and over, with fines of up to $1.1 million awarded for non-compliance in the state.
Kimberly Randle, executive director and principal lawyer of Fair Supply, told Pro Bono News that complying with the act did not mean organisations had to miss out on making money.
“Business is about making money and profitability, but that can be done in a way that also increases the social responsibility and sustainability of an organisation, which is an increasingly important factor,” Randle said.
The firm will review company policies and procedures from a human-rights approach, and use technology to identify the risk of modern slavery in the supply chain.
“Organisations can enter their spend data into software that provides risks priority categories down to tier six of your supply chain,” she said.
Randle said the act should be seen as useful, as it gave businesses the tools to make good decisions and combat the growing international problem of modern slavery in supply chains.
“It’s really important for organisations and corporates to be a mandated part of the solution to combating slavery, ” she said.
“This is a chance for Australian businesses to lead the global market in incorporating transparency, humanity and acuity into a best business practice.”
She added that purpose-driven organisations should be leading the charge of this change, and carefully examining how their supply chains could be contributing to modern slavery.
“It’s really important for those organisations to have visibility over how much of their supply chain contributes to modern slavery, because so often we overlook internal parts of our supply chain,” she said.
“This could be anything from the chairs we sit on, tables we use, tea we drink in our tea-rooms, and so I think the legislation actually provides purpose-driven business [an opportunity] to lead by example and really pave the way for best practice.”