In late March 2020, the NSW Parliament’s Legislative Council’s Standing Committee on Social Issues issued its report on “Modern Slavery Act 2018 and associated matters”.

 I will comment separately on detail of the reasoning used but below is my summary of the Committee’s 9 recommendations. It will be interesting to see how Government responds.

 Recommendation 1  

That the NSW Government amend the Modern Slavery Act 2018 after considering the comments and recommendations of the Committee, but aiming to commence the legislation on or before 1 January 2021.

Recommendation 2  

That the NSW Government amend the Modern Slavery Act 2018 to include a review of the Act, to be conducted in conjunction with the Australian Government’s statutory review of the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth).

Recommendation 3

That the NSW Government try to change the terminology in section 24 of Modern Slavery Act 2018 to replace the term ‘turnover’ with ‘consolidated revenue’.                                

Recommendation 4

That the NSW Government and the Interim Anti-Slavery Commissioner continue to work towards ensuring that reporting requirements are as simple as possible and clearly explained in the guidance material.

Recommendation 5

That the NSW Government work with the Australian Government to seek a common reporting threshold, ideally at $50 million consolidated revenue, better to achieve a consistent national approach to modern slavery.

Recommendation 6

That the NSW Government try to amend the Modern Slavery Act 2018 to identify the  authority responsible for conducting prosecutions that involve breaches of section 24.

 Recommendation 7

That, with the review noted in Recommendation 2, the NSW Government reassess the exemption for charities and not-for-profit organisations from section 24 of the Modern Slavery Act 2018, including by:

  • seeking input from the charity and not-for-profit sector;
  • considering mechanisms to support charities and not-for-profits to meet the reporting requirement in section 24 going forward.

Recommendation 8

That the NSW Government not amend the Draft Modern Slavery Regulation 2019 to include an exemption from section 24 of the Modern Slavery Act 2018 for not-for-profit registered clubs.

Recommendation 9  

That the Anti-Slavery Commissioner regularly examine and report on appropriateness of bringing franchisors, on behalf of franchisees not otherwise this captured by the Modern Slavery Act 2018, under the state legislation.