On 13 September 2019 the AICD lodged a submission with the NSW government on the draft NSW Modern Slavery Regulation 2019 (the Regulation).
The AICD notes that in parallel with the consultation on the Regulation, a separate parliamentary inquiry by the Standing Committee on Social Issues is currently underway into the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (NSW) (NSW Modern Slavery Act). The parliamentary inquiry covers broader issues such as the operability of the proposed anti-slavery scheme and whether the passage of the Commonwealth Modern Slavery Act 2018 renders parts or all of the NSW legislation unnecessary.
The AICD will lodge a separate submission with the parliamentary inquiry regarding these broader issues. Our key concerns relate to the penalties proposed under the NSW Modern Slavery Act and the lower monetary threshold.
Pending the outcome of the parliamentary inquiry and noting our concerns, the AICD makes the following points in relation to the Regulation:
- As with the Commonwealth legislation, guidance will be critical to ensure the effective implementation of the NSW Modern Slavery Act. It will be crucial for guidance to include examples of good policies and processes that are considered effective in reducing risks.
- The AICD supports the need for one public register (for both Commonwealth and NSW statements) that should be publicly available and searchable.
- The AICD supports the exemption for voluntary reporters and subsidiaries of parent entities reporting under the Commonwealth legislation. However, the NSW penalty provisions should also be included in the exemption. Enforcement and penalties for alleged breaches of Commonwealth laws should be left to the Commonwealth.
- The AICD supports the exemption for NFPs and charities but suggests some amendments to ensure all NFPs and charities are captured by the exemption.
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