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ACNC concerned over duplication and increased regulatory burdens of Modern Slavery Bill

The national regulatory body says the NSW Modern Slavery Bill will put additional regulatory burdens on charities

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) has responded to the government’s Modern Slavery Bill, asking for the burden on charities to be lifted.

Although the regulator body commends the Commonwealth Bill, the NSW specific Bill will “increase regulatory burden” on charities that operate in the state. For some charities, this could mean a duplication of compliance requirements.

“Firstly, more charities will be required to complete a NSW modern slavery statement as the revenue trigger for requiring a statement is $50 million in the NSW act.

“Secondly, it is likely the NSW Act will require NSW government entities to require evidence from all suppliers that the supplier is undertaking due diligence to ensure its goods and services are not the product of slavery,” the submission read.

Under the Commonwealth Bill, Australia’s non-corporate entities are not required to obtain modern slavery statements from all their suppliers. Only groups with more than $100 million in consolidated revenue are required to publish annual statements.

“This is appropriate in our view, given the size of many of the charities involved and the potential regulatory burden should these charities be required to prepare modern slavery statements,” the ACNC said.

However, the NSW Bill will enforce reporting on organisations with an annual revenue of $50 million and gather all evidence from all suppliers that it is undertaking due diligence. If a charity operates in more than one state, it will fall under both Bill requirements and could be required to submit a duplication of the reportage.

The ACNC expressed concerns over the increase in reportage burdens if all states are intending to implement their own versions of the Bill.

“Should other states also introduce separate legislations, charities operating in multiple jurisdictions could find themselves answerable to seven or eight different regulatory schemes for modern slavery,” the submission read.

The ACNC encouraged the government to ensure sufficient information is provided to the impacted entities as soon as possible so that the necessary arrangements are put in place, but to refrain from burdening charities with additional reporting.

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