Like the UK Act, the Australian Modern Slavery Act will define the types of entities that will be subject to the reporting requirement. These entities may not be limited to corporations, but may include unincorporated associations and other bodies of persons, partnerships, superannuation funds and approved deposit funds.
The Act will likely apply to all businesses that are headquartered in Australia or have part of their operations in Australia and that meet the applicable revenue threshold. The Australian Government has suggested a revenue threshold that will be no lower than $100 million total annual revenue.
It is proposed that entities report annually within five months after the end of the Australian financial year. Statements will be posted on business websites and a publicly accessible, searchable, central repository will be formed, run by the Australian Government or a third party.
Entities will need to report against a minimum set of criteria in relation to their operations and their supply chains (more on this later). In this way it differs from the UK Act, which does not prescribe the content of statements (although it does list matters that may be included).
Statements will need to be approved at board level and signed by a director (or equivalent).
The Australian Government has said it will issue detailed guidance and awareness raising materials for businesses to assist in complying with the reporting requirement.
At this stage, the Australian Government does not propose to apply the reporting requirement to Commonwealth or State and Territory procurement.
No penalty regime will be put in place, but the Australian Government will monitor compliance with the new provisions and will subject the legislation to review three years after its introduction.