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Modern Slavery Act set to commence in NSW from 1 January 2022

In June 2018, the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (NSW) was passed by NSW Parliament however, it was awaiting proclamation and as such had not yet commenced.

In June 2018, the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (NSW) (the Modern Slavery Act) was passed by NSW Parliament however, it was awaiting proclamation and as such had not yet commenced.

As passed, the Modern Slavery Act required businesses with a consolidated revenue between $50 - $100 million per financial year to prepare a modern slavery statement which was to set out the steps taken to ensure goods and services were not products of supply chains where modern slavery is taking place.

This was inconsistent with the Federal Act, which only required businesses with consolidated revenue of at least $100 million to prepare a modern slavery statement. To address this and other deficiencies in drafting, the NSW Government passed the Modern Slavery Amendment Act 2021 (NSW) (the Amendment Act).

The Amendment Act removed the requirement for businesses operating in NSW with a consolidated revenue between $50 - $100 million per financial year to prepare a modern slavery statement.

However, it is important to note that businesses in NSW with a consolidated revenue of at least $100 million in the financial year will continue to be subject to the Federal Act meaning that a modern slavery statement is still required in accordance with that Act.

The Amendment Act has also amended the definition of “government agencies” to include local councils which means that local councils are now subject to the requirement to prepare a modern slavery statement, the first of which is required by 1 July 2022.

Other changes introduced by the Amendment Act relate to the appointment, function and reports of the Anti-Slavery Commissioner.

The Modern Slavery Act incorporating the amendments is due to commence on 1 January 2022.

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