Modern Slavery Reporting
In May 2023, the Attorney-General's Department released results of the statutory review of the Australian Modern Slavery Act 2018. The report proposes 30 changes that, if implemented, would significantly enhance Australia's anti-modern slavery efforts, imposing more rigorous due diligence and reporting obligations on certain companies.
In November 2023, Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus KC MP introduced legislation to establish a Commonwealth Anti-slavery Commissioner. Public consultation on the responsibilities for this role is underway, with a full Government response to the review expected once this process is complete.
With progress already being made in the EU and other jurisdictions towards mandatory human rights due diligence, Australian businesses should prepare for a Commonwealth Act that seeks alignment with these standards.
Mandatory climate-related financial disclosures for Australian companies
In October 2023, the Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) released core requirements for Australian Sustainability Reporting Standards, outlining what’s to come for mandatory climate-related financial disclosures.
This leverages the framework launched by the International Sustainability Standards Board and the associated IFRS S1 and IFSR S2 disclosures.
Under the proposal, companies will need to disclose climate-related information as part of their general financial reporting, starting as early as July 2024 for some companies.