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Part 1—Preliminary

Part 1 Preliminary

   

1   Short title

                   This Act is the Modern Slavery Act 2018 .

2   Commencement

             (1)  Each provision of this Act specified in column 1 of the table commences, or is taken to have commenced, in accordance with column 2 of the table. Any other statement in column 2 has effect according to its terms.

 

Commencement information

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Provisions

Commencement

Date/Details

1.  Sections 1 and 2 and anything in this Act not elsewhere covered by this table

The day this Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

2.  Sections 3 to 10 and Parts 2 to 4

A single day to be fixed by Proclamation.

However, if the provisions do not commence within the period of 6 months beginning on the day this Act receives the Royal Assent, they commence on the day after the end of that period.

 

Note:          This table relates only to the provisions of this Act as originally enacted. It will not be amended to deal with any later amendments of this Act.

             (2)  Any information in column 3 of the table is not part of this Act. Information may be inserted in this column, or information in it may be edited, in any published version of this Act.

3   Simplified outline of this Act

This Act requires entities based, or operating, in Australia, which have an annual consolidated revenue of more than $100 million, to report annually on the risks of modern slavery in their operations and supply chains, and actions to address those risks. Other entities based, or operating, in Australia may report voluntarily.

The Commonwealth is required to report on behalf of non-corporate Commonwealth entities, and the reporting requirements also apply to Commonwealth corporate entities and companies with an annual consolidated revenue of more than $100 million.

Reports are kept by the Minister in a public repository known as the Modern Slavery Statements Register. Statements on the register may be accessed by the public, free of charge, on the internet.

4   Definitions

                   In this Act:

accounting standards has the same meaning as in the Corporations Act 2001 .

Australia , when used in a geographical sense, includes the external Territories.

Australian entity means:

                     (a)  a company which is a resident within the meaning of subsection 6(1) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 ; or

                     (b)  a trust, if the trust estate is a resident trust estate within the meaning of Division 6 of Part III of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 ; or

                     (c)  a corporate limited partnership which is a resident within the meaning of section 94T of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 ; or

                     (d)   any other partnership, or other entity, whether incorporated or unincorporated, if:

                              (i)  the entity is formed or incorporated within Australia; or

                             (ii)  the central management or control of the entity is in Australia.

carries on business in Australia : see section 5 (meaning of reporting entity ).

consolidated revenue , of an entity, means:

                     (a)  the total revenue of the entity, for a reporting period; or

                     (b)  if the entity controls another entity or entities—the total revenue of the entity and all of the controlled entities, considered as a group, for a reporting period of the controlling entity;

worked out in accordance with the accounting standards, even if those standards do not otherwise apply to such an entity (including a controlling entity) or group.

control , of an entity by another entity, means control of the entity within the meaning of the accounting standards.

entity has the same meaning as in the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 .

Note:          See section 960-100 of that Act.

modern slavery means conduct which would constitute:

                     (a)  an offence under Division 270 or 271 of the Criminal Code ; or

                     (b)  an offence under either of those Divisions if the conduct took place in Australia; or

                     (c)  trafficking in persons, as defined in Article 3 of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, done at New York on 15 November 2000 ([2005] ATS 27); or

                     (d)  the worst forms of child labour, as defined in Article 3 of the ILO Convention (No. 182) concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour, done at Geneva on 17 June 1999 ([2007] ATS 38).

Note:          In 2018, the text of international agreements in the Australian Treaty Series was accessible through the Australian Treaties Library on the AustLII website (http://www.austlii.edu.au).

modern slavery statement : see section 12.

principal governing body , of an entity, means:

                     (a)  the body, or group of members of the entity, with primary responsibility for the governance of the entity; or

                     (b)  if the entity is of a kind prescribed by rules made for the purposes of this paragraph—a prescribed body within the entity, or a prescribed member or members of the entity.

Example:    Examples of principal governing bodies are as follows:

(a)    for a company—the company’s board of directors;

(b)    for a superannuation fund—the fund’s board of trustees.

register means the Modern Slavery Statements Register established under section 18.

reporting entity : see section 5.

reporting period , of an entity, means a financial year, or another annual accounting period applicable to the entity, which starts after the commencement of this section.

Example:    For a company’s reporting period, see section 319 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 .

responsible member , of an entity, means:

                     (a)  an individual member of the entity’s principal governing body who is authorised to sign modern slavery statements for the purposes of this Act; or

                     (b)  if the entity is a trust administered by a sole trustee—that trustee; or

                     (c)  if the entity is a corporation sole—the individual constituting the corporation; or

                     (d)  if the entity is under administration within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001 —the administrator; or

                     (e)  if the entity is of a kind prescribed by rules made for the purposes of this paragraph—a prescribed member of the entity.

rules means rules made by the Minister under section 25.

5   Meaning of reporting entity

             (1)  Each of the following is a reporting entity in relation to a reporting period:

                     (a)  an entity which has a consolidated revenue of at least $100 million for the reporting period, if the entity:

                              (i)  is an Australian entity at any time in that reporting period; or

                             (ii)  carries on business in Australia at any time in that reporting period;

                     (b)  the Commonwealth;

                     (c)  a corporate Commonwealth entity, or a Commonwealth company, within the meaning of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 , which has a consolidated revenue of at least $100 million for the reporting period;

                     (d)  an entity which has volunteered to comply with the requirements of this Act under section 6 for that period.

Note:          The Commonwealth is required to report on behalf of non-corporate Commonwealth entities within the meaning of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 : see section 15 of this Act.

             (2)  An entity carries on business in Australia if the entity:

                     (a)  in the case of a body corporate—carries on business in Australia, a State or a Territory within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001 (see section 21 of that Act); or

                     (b)  in any other case—would be taken to do so within the meaning of that Act if the entity were a body corporate.

6   Voluntary modern slavery statements

How an entity may volunteer

             (1)  An entity covered by subsection (2) may volunteer to comply with the requirements of this Act for a reporting period, or reporting periods, by giving written notice to the Minister accordingly before the end of the reporting period (or the earliest of the reporting periods), in a manner and form approved by the Minister.

Note:          An entity can volunteer under this section in relation to a reporting period and all later reporting periods.

             (2)  An entity is covered by this subsection for a reporting period if the entity, at any time in the reporting period:

                     (a)  is an Australian entity; or

                     (b)  carries on business in Australia.

Revoking a notice

             (3)  An entity may revoke a notice given under subsection (1), to the extent that it applies in relation to a reporting period or periods, by giving written notice accordingly to the Minister before the start of the reporting period, or the earliest of the reporting periods.

7   Constitutional basis

             (1)  Without limitation, this Act relies on:

                     (a)  the Commonwealth’s legislative powers under the following provisions of the Constitution:

                              (i)  paragraph 51(i) (trade and commerce);

                             (ii)  paragraph 51(xi) (census and statistics);

                            (iii)  paragraph 51(xix) (aliens);

                            (iv)  paragraph 51(xx) (corporations);

                             (v)  paragraph 51(xxi) (marriage);

                            (vi)  paragraph 51(xxvii) (immigration);

                           (vii)  paragraph 51(xxix) (external affairs);

                          (viii)  paragraph 51(xxxix) (incidental matters);

                            (ix)  section 61 (the executive power); and

                     (b)  any implied legislative powers of the Commonwealth.

             (2)  Without limiting subparagraph (1)(a)(vii), this Act’s reliance on the Commonwealth’s legislative powers under paragraph 51(xxix) of the Constitution is based on purposes including giving effect to the following international agreements, as amended and in force for Australia from time to time:

                     (a)  the International Convention to Suppress the Slave Trade and Slavery, done at Geneva on 25 September 1926 ([1927] ATS 11);

                     (b)  the ILO Convention (No. 29) concerning Forced or Compulsory Labour, done at Geneva on 28 June 1930 ([1933] ATS 21);

                     (c)  the Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices similar to Slavery, done at Geneva on 7 September 1956 ([1958] ATS 3);

                     (d)  the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, done at New York on 16 December 1966 ([1980] ATS 23);

                     (e)  the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, done at New York on 18 December 1979 ([1983] ATS 9);

                      (f)  the Convention on the Rights of the Child, done at New York on 20 November 1989 ([1991] ATS 4);

                     (g)  the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, done at New York on 15 November 2000 ([2005] ATS 27);

                     (h)  the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, done at New York on 25 May 2000 ([2007] ATS 6);

                      (i)  the ILO Convention (No. 182) concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour, done at Geneva on 17 June 1999 ([2007] ATS 38).

Note:          In 2018, the text of international agreements in the Australian Treaty Series was accessible through the Australian Treaties Library on the AustLII website (http://www.austlii.edu.au).

8   Act binds the Crown

                   This Act binds the Crown in right of the Commonwealth. However, it does not bind the Crown in right of a State, the Australian Capital Territory or the Northern Territory.

9   Extension to external Territories

                   This Act extends to every external Territory.

10   Extra-territorial application

                   This Act extends to acts, omissions, matters and things outside Australia.