Ethical credentials in retail – upcoming changes you need to know

With modern slavery reporting requirements likely to commence in the near future in Australia, there is a renewed focus on the ethical sourcing of retail and clothing products.  Specifically, in August this year, the ACCC re-authorised the Homeworkers Code of Practice (the Code) for a further ten years.

The Code is voluntary for manufacturers within Australia and aims to ensure that workers receive appropriate entitlements (i.e. wages and legal protection) for their work in the textile, clothing and footwear industries.  The workers who the Code is aimed at are those who perform their work from their home or another premise that would not commonly be regarded as a ‘business premise’.  Those businesses who are authorised under the Code are able to promote their authorisation as an ethical credential – which is increasingly important in a market where consumers are more aware (and demanding greater transparency) of the supply chain behind the items they purchase.

We will post an update in the near future detailing some key information for retailers on the Modern Slavery Reporting Requirements, particularly around modern slavery statements which will be required by those entities who are subject to reporting obligations (being those with a consolidated revenue above $100 million which also captures overseas entities carrying on business within Australia).

This blog was co-authored by Claire Kermond, Jessie Buchan and Melinda Upton.