NSW is the first State or Territory in Australia to have standalone legislation in operation to fight against modern slavery. The NSW Modern Slavery Act 2018 will commence on 1 January 2022, three years after its enactment.
The amended Act has a number of changes to the original, in summary:
- The repeal of the reporting obligation for commercial organisations, with a turnover of $50M or more, to report on how they are addressing modern slavery in their supply chains. The obligation to prepare modern slavery statements is now under the Commonwealth Act only (above $100M turnover).
- New offences prohibiting slavery, servitude, child forced labour and child forced marriage
- NSW Government agencies and local councils will be required to take reasonable steps to ensure their supply chains are free from modern slavery
Key features from the original Act are preserved or enhanced, particularly:
- The establishment of an Anti-Slavery Commissioner,
- access to financial support, counselling and recognition payments to victims of modern slavery; and
- the establishment of a joint parliamentary committee on modern slavery.