Safetrac makes Modern Slavery reporting easier: tips on how to simplify a challenging task

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In 2018, the Australian parliament passed the Modern Slavery Act, requiring entities based, or operating, in Australia that have yearly consolidated revenue of more than $100 million to report annually on the risks of modern slavery in their operations and supply chains, and take actions to address those risks.

Since the passing of the Modern Slavery Act, businesses have dedicated significant resources to complying with the new reporting requirements. Legal counsel, procurement, training, and compliance departments have been burdened by the understanding and interpretation of the legislation.

Unfortunately, many businesses still fail to comply with modern slavery disclosure requirements. There are several reasons why companies might not disclose this information, and they may not be aware of the problem themselves or be deliberately trying to cover it up. Either way, consumers must start to demand more transparency from the businesses they support. Otherwise, people will continue to turn a blind eye to the horrific reality of modern slavery.

Importance of modern slavery reporting

According to Deborah Coram, CEO of Safetrac, a leading provider of engaging compliance training, reporting on modern slavery is crucial because it raises awareness of the issue and can help to protect victims and survivors. It can also aid in holding perpetrators accountable and assist in creating positive changes.

Coram says that reporting on modern slavery can be difficult because of the hidden nature of the crime and the vulnerability of victims and survivors. But even so, there are some ways to make it easier.

Key tips to easing the burdern of modern slavery reporting, according to Safetrac:

Understand the scope of the problem broadly: Slavery is a global issue that transcends borders and industries. Everyone needs to understand, from top management to entry-level staff, that modern slavery exists in many business practises. 

There are many ways to identify modern slavery. Some indicators include workers who are not free to leave their job, have their movements restricted, or are paid below minimum wage for their work. Other indicators include workers who are forced to work excessive hours, are subject to violence or threats of violence, or are living in borderline inhumane conditions.

Know the supply chain: It is crucial to know who the company’s suppliers are and where they source their products. Engaging the suppliers to provide information is time-consuming and laborious, considering all the other work put into it, like analysing all the data.

Understand the challenges of modern slavery reporting: Many items go into modern slavery reporting – training and auditing are just two of them. Both can be time-consuming and laborious tasks, and ensuring that all necessary information is acquired requires investing a lot of time and effort.

Ensure policies and procedures, new or existing, assist with reducing modern slavery practices: To help prevent and combat modern slavery in the company, it is vital to have robust policies and procedures in place. These include ensuring all employees are aware of the issue and know what to do if they suspect that slavery is taking place.

Make training meaningful: This is an opportunity to make an impact on modern slavery prevention. Don’t just roll out tick-and-flick training to say, “yes, we’ve done the training.” Make each training activity engaging, informative, and meaningful. Use scenarios from your company and industry to make the training more relatable, and then use testing at the end of the training to reinforce the learning. Take this opportunity to change people’s attitudes towards modern slavery so they can identify these bad practices in your operations.

Use a software solution to engage and gather all the reporting data you need: A software solution can help manage modern slavery reporting obligations and make the process easier. Safetrac’s Modern Slavery Reporting toolkit is designed to help organisations meet their obligations under the Modern Slavery Act 2018.

Safetrac’s ‘Modern Slavery’ training course assists learners to understand what modern slavery is, the current legislation, the impact on the organisation and its customers, and what action they can take. Safetrac can assist with staff and supplier training and analyse the results to note potential improvements. 

This data can then easily be used in modern slavery reporting. Safetrac’s enrollment and automation functionality allows companies to schedule future training sessions and automatically follow up with those who have not yet completed training. It can also trigger alerts if and where required. Learn more about Safetrac’s training on Modern Slavery through their website. 

The Modern Slavery questionnaire, pre-built by Modern Slavery lawyers, is sent to staff and suppliers to get their input. It uses the same functionality to plan, deliver, and roll out questionnaires to defined recipients. As developed by leading lawyers, companies are assured that the 40 supplier and 84 staff questions meet the reporting needs. The options are also available if the need to customise and add other questions may arise. Best of all, the data is stored in a secure, separate, Australian-based SQL database. The platform also analyses the data gathered, helps identify potential risks in the supply chain, and provides a seamless process to add the information to the modern slavery report with little effort.

When done correctly, reporting on modern slavery can make a real difference. These solid systems and reporting mechanisms are vital as they provide the necessary data to understand the problem’s scope and nature. Without the reliable and accurate reports provided, people cannot effectively combat modern slavery.