Modern Slavery Act review tabled in Parliament

The review of Australia’s Modern Slavery Act 2018 has been tabled in Parliament.

This review, led by Professor John McMillan AO, is a thorough analysis of the operation of the Act in its first three years.

The review was informed by an extensive public consultation process involving more than 280 government and non-government organisations, including from business, civil society, and academia.

136 written submissions were provided to the review from a wide range of domestic and international stakeholders.

It also makes 30 recommendations to strengthen the Act, to ensure it is meaningfully tackling modern slavery, both at home and abroad.

Recommendations include:

  • introducing penalties for non-compliance with statutory reporting requirements
  • lowering the reporting threshold from $100 million to $50 million
  • requiring entities to report on modern slavery incidents or risks
  • amending the Act to require entities have a due diligence system in place
  • strengthening the administration of the Act through proposed legislative amendments and expanded administrative guidance; and
  • proposing functions for the federal Anti-Slavery Commissioner in relation to the Act

The review follows the release of the first in-depth study last month using both survey and focus groups to examine business responses to modern slavery in Australia.

The report, Australia’s Modern Slavery Act: Is It Fit For Purpose?, found that 70 per cent of survey participants support the establishment of an Anti-Slavery Commissioner.

Sixty-seven per cent said they would find it easier to comply with the Modern Slavery Act if it were harmonised with international standards such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and 61 per cent would likely improve modern slavery responses if required to undertake human rights due diligence.

The report also found 54 per cent would likely improve modern slavery responses if financial penalties were introduced.

This article originally appeared on

To stay up to date on the latest industry headlines, sign up to the C&I e-newsletter.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top