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Your modern slavery response and reporting

The Modern Slavery Act

Under Australia’s Modern Slavery Act, entities and groups of entities with annual revenue above $100m are required to create annual Modern Slavery Statement, which are published on the Government’s public register. The legislation requires that reporting entities respond to a set of mandatory criteria, including describing the risks of modern slavery practices in their operations and supply chains; describing the actions taken to assess and address those risks, including due diligence and remediation processes; and describing how they assess the effectiveness of such actions. The below guidance is designed to complement the Department of Home Affairs’ Department of Home Affairs’ Modern Slavery Reporting Guidance provides detailed advice about reporting against the mandatory criteria.

Reporting on risks, CAF membership and certification

CAF membership and Certification will be an important component of companies’ reporting on the steps they have taken to assess and address slavery risk in their operations and supply chain. The table below outlines how involvement in CAF building certification can be used to respond to the substantive mandatory criteria (3, 4 and 5) to be included in a Modern Slavery Statement. What you include in your statement will be unique to your business and its specific challenges and CAF-facilitated responses.

Example description of CAF to include in your statement

CAF exists to end exploitation in property services and improve work standards through education and advocacy. CAF stakeholders work together in a spirit of cooperation to drive continual improvement across the industry by setting responsible norms for the procurement, management and delivery of cleaning services.

Mandatory Criteria for MSA reporting

Describe the risks of modern slavery practices in the operations and supply chains of the reporting entity and any entities it owns or controls

The Government’s Guidance for Reporting Entities provides detailed guidance on answering criterion 3 at pages 39 – 45.

CAF members

To answer criterion 3 you may wish to consider the following, which is draws from Part 1 of this guide ‘Modern Slavery in the Cleaning Industry’.

Referring to the risks in the cleaning industry, which include:

  • withholding of wages
  • immigration-related coercion and threats
  • deceptive recruitment
  • excessive overtime
  • debt bondage
  • confiscation of personal and travel documents
  • dangerous and substandard working conditions
  • Highlighting particular risk factors including visible and invisible risk indicators that potentially exist and/or have been identified in your in your cleaning supply chains. For example, risks arising from subcontracting or labour hire arrangements, insufficiently priced contracts, lack of worker voice etc

CAF building certification

To answer criterion 3 you may wish to consider all the prompts for ‘CAF members’ in the row above, in addition to the following:

Highlighting that the CAF building certification is a process to identify, prevent, mitigate and remediate  modern slavery risks in cleaning supply chains.

Mandatory Criteria for MSA reporting

Describe the actions taken by the reporting entity and any entities it owns or controls to assess and address these risks, including due diligence and remediation processes.

The Government’s Guidance for Reporting Entities provides detailed guidance on answering criterion 4 at pages 36 – 53.

CAF members

To answer criterion 4 you may wish to consider highlighting the following:

  • As part of CAF membership, procurers and providers of contract cleaning services, worker representatives, government regulators, and academic subject matter experts work collaboratively to address modern slavery risks in this industry.
  • CAF members receive regular updates on labour rights violations identified in the cleaning industry through the CAF building certification scheme, as well as practical solutions to prevent these issues.
  • CAF members have access to procurement tools and procurement advisory services, ongoing compliance tools, and remediation processes designed to improve internal identification, investigation and remediation procedures related to labour rights violations. You may wish to highlight how you have used these tools as part of your own due diligence efforts to identify and manage your modern slavery risks.
  • For example, you may wish to highlight how you have used the CAF Pricing Schedule tool. CAF members (procurer of cleaning services category) have access to the CAF Pricing Schedule, which contain productivity and on-cost benchmarks designed to ensure that all statutory requirements relating to the employment of cleaners have been provisioned for. The CAF Pricing Schedule can be used in the tender process and as part of CAF building certification, to help ensure that cleaning procurement decisions do not inadvertently promote modern slavery.
  • You may also wish to draw on the Stakeholder Responsibility Matrix to highlight key actions you have taken to mitigate modern slavery risk for cleaners, by using CAF guidance and tools.

CAF building certification

To answer criterion 4 you may wish to consider Part 2 of this guide ‘CAF’s approach to modern slavery’, and consider highlighting the following.

  • CAF’s leading practice approach to assessing and addressing modern slavery risks through Building Certification is based on the promotion of decent work, ongoing human rights due diligence, a recognition of the limits of social auditing and the elevation of worker voices
  • CAF works with supply chain stakeholders at a building to identify, investigate and remedy labour rights violations, and implement the conditions for decent work within that supply chain.
  • CAF building certification entails an independent third-party assessment of cleaning supply chains, and is informed by ongoing worker engagement. A CAF Star rating is awarded when the conditions for decent work are implemented. Where non-compliance is identified, stakeholders must implement corrective action to achieve and maintain certification.

You may wish to highlight additional ways modern slavery risks are addressed through CAF such as:

  • CAF requirements in cleaning tenders and contracts
  • Education and training provided to supply chain stakeholders at CAF-certified buildings
  • Ongoing monitoring by Building Managers of cleaning contractors’ compliance with the CAF 3 Star Standard
  • Other ongoing compliance monitoring processes discussed below in relation to criterion 5

You may wish to highlight  examples of remediation implemented through CAF certification at your building  such as:

  • repayment of unpaid wages and entitlements
  • proactive measures relating to workplace health and safety, bullying and harassment, discrimination, training, working time, freedom of association, worker education, supervisor training, and revision of cleaning contractor policies and procedures.

You may also wish to draw on the Stakeholder Responsibility Matrix to highlight key actions you have taken to mitigate modern slavery risk for cleaners, by using CAF guidance and tools.

CAF reference documents

  • CAF Case Studies
  • CAF Certification user guide
  • CAF Remediation Procedure
    CAF building certification reports (audit reports, worker engagement reports, compliance tools)

Mandatory Criteria for MSA reporting

Describe how the reporting entity assesses the effectiveness of these actions.

CAF members

  • CAF members that use the CAF Pricing Schedule could point to monitoring the % of cleaning tenders that use the CAF pricing schedule, which is designed to provide transparency and accountability with regard to contract pricing.
  • CAF members receive updates on the effectiveness of measures implemented throughout the CAF Building Certification scheme to improve procurement, management and delivery of contract cleaning services at the industry level.

CAF building certification

To answer criterion 5 you may wish to consider Part 2 of this guide ‘CAF’s approach to addressing modern slavery’ and consider highlighting the following:

  • As part of CAF building certification process stakeholders are assisted in tracking and assessing the effectiveness of the actions taken to address risks of labour exploitation and modern slavery through detailed third-party reporting on compliance with the CAF 3 Star Standard.
  • The CAF Certification requires ongoing compliance with the CAF 3 Star Standard from all entities within the supply chain at certified buildings, not just at the point of certification.
  • You may wish to highlight some of the measures you are involved with to monitor and track effectiveness in more detail in your statement, e.g.:
    • # of independent third-party assessments of compliance undertaken through CAF (new assessments and annual health checks)
    • # of cleaning contracts that meet the CAF benchmarks
    • # of compliance issues remedied through CAF Building Certification
    • Quantitative and qualitative feedback from vulnerable workers about working conditions at sites in your portfolio
    • # of CAF Reps in your portfolio
    • # of CAF ongoing compliance checks conducted

IMPORTANT: CAF Modern Slavery Guidance usage statement: This Guidance is intended for use by CAF Members only. Any unauthorised use, reproduction or distribution of the Guidance will be considered a breach of CAF Membership Terms & Conditions and may result in termination of CAF Membership. Reproduction or use of parts of the Guidance in CAF Members’ own material and statements is permitted however must be attributed to CAF and referenced accordingly. CAF highly recommends Members consult with CAF staff prior to publishing any CAF-related material to ensure accuracy.