Circulars

22-09 Councils’ obligations under the Modern Slavery Act 2018

Circular Details22-09 / 11 April 2022 / A803923
Previous CircularN/A
Who should read thisCouncillors / General Managers / council governance and procurement staff
ContactCouncil Governance Team / 02 4428 4100 / olg@olg.nsw.gov.au
Action requiredCouncil to Implement
PDF Version22-09 Councils’ obligations under the Modern Slavery Act 2018

What’s new or changing

  • Modern slavery is a serious violation of an individual’s dignity and human rights. Exploitative practices including human trafficking, slavery, servitude, forced labour, debt bondage and forced marriage are all considered modern slavery and are serious crimes under Australian law.
  • The International Labour Organisation estimates there are more than 40 million people in modern slavery conditions worldwide.
  • The commencement of the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (NSW), introduces new obligations for councils under the Local Government Act 1993 relating to modern slavery.

What this will mean for your council

  • From 1 July 2022, councils will be required to take reasonable steps to ensure that goods and services procured by and for the council are not the product of modern slavery within the meaning of the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (NSW).
  • Commencing from the 2022/23 financial year, each council will be required to publish in their annual reports:
    • a statement of the action taken by the council in relation to any issue raised by the Anti-slavery Commissioner during the year concerning the operations of the council and identified by the Commissioner as being a significant issue, and
    • a statement of steps taken to ensure that goods and services procured by and for the council during the year were not the product of modern slavery within the meaning of the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (NSW).

Key points

  • “Modern slavery” is defined in the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (NSW) as any conduct constituting a modern slavery offence within the meaning of that Act and any conduct involving the use of any form of slavery, servitude or forced labour to exploit children or other persons taking place in the supply chains of organisations

Where to go for further information

  • Information on modern slavery is available here.
  • The Modern Slavery Act 2018 (NSW) is available here.
  • For more information, contact the Council Governance Team by telephone on 02 4428 4100 or by email at olg@olg.nsw.gov.au.

Melanie Hawyes
Deputy Secretary, Crown Lands and Local Government