Despite all the best intentions, slavery still exists…

Authored By Ms Julie Mills

APSCo's Modern Slavery Act webinar session by Dianne Gibert of Certex International attracted another record attendance and provided a timley reminder that the issues of forced labour are very real in today’s highly developed supply chains.

We all need to be vigilant, as individuals and corporates, to ensure we are not unintentionally fostering such practices.

While hosting the webinar, my conversations with Paul Veith, founder of IPA and RCSA Life Member, came to mind as we spent many hours discussing this topic for journal articles to raise awareness of where recruiters could play a role.

Like so many individuals in our sector, Paul was a visionary who identified the role staffing companies play in ensuring the world of work is a great place for everyone and I am sure the Modern Slavery Act 2018 would have resulted in a high five.

The key takeaways from yesterday's session were: 

  • The statistics were confronting
  • The fact that we have a NSW Modern Slavery Act 2018 and a Commonwealth Modern Slavery Act 2018 is illuminating and frustrating, and
  • The misleading nature of the $100M revenue before reporting headline that has been highlighted.

The message is clear: If your company is part of a supply chain that involves labour to produce outcomes, whether directly or indirectly, then you may need to maintain your own due diligence checks in case you are asked to report or supply information to another organisation in that supply chain.

But seriously, this is more than that. The examples in the webinar suggest we all need to continue asking hard questions of ourselves about the services we use. This is not just up to the corporates.

The professional staffing sector represents a dynamic and evolving ecosystem and each of us can make a difference, collectively and individually.

APSCo Australia has already committed to assist by updating a number of key Member resources which will be announced shortly.

Members can download yesterday's webinar recording Modern Slavery Bill - New requirements for firms in the supply chain and find out more about the new Modern Slavery module in Certex International's Talent Engagement Standard.