Bupa releases first Modern Slavery Statement

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Bupa Australia and New Zealand has released its first Modern Slavery Statement outlining the organisation’s ongoing action to assess and address human rights risks across its businesses and suppliers.

The company said the statement has been released in accordance with reporting obligations under the federal government’s Modern Slavery Act 2018.

The Modern Slavery Statement summarises the work Bupa ANZ has undertaken over the 2020 financial year. The statement also outlines areas of focus for the next reporting period.

The company's statement says it is "aware of the significant modern slavery risks associated with the healthcare industry, particularly in respect of the manufacture of healthcare equipment and supplies."

"We have conducted a high-level risk assessment on our direct suppliers. The risk levels were informed by the Global Slavery Index and reports of modern slavery activity based on geographical region and industry sector," said the company, adding most direct suppliers fall in the medium-risk category with only a small number of high-risk suppliers.

The company said the key industry sectors that pose a potential modern slavery risk are cleaning services, construction, electronics, medical equipment and personal protective equipment.

"Bupa ANZ requires suppliers to comply with its Supplier Code of Conduct which makes clear our expectation that suppliers, subcontractors and their respective supply chains comply with all domestic legislation, all applicable International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions and protocols, and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

"We also conduct due diligence on potential suppliers and will continue to refine and improve our process in this respect as it relates to modern slavery," said the company.

CEO Hisham El-Ansary said the company’s purpose guides decision making across all business touch points.

“Our business was founded upon, and remains centred today, around supporting the health and wellbeing of our people, our customers and the communities in which we live and operate,” he said.

“We recognise the responsibility we all share to eradicate modern slavery around the world and are deeply committed to enhancing our focus in this area working alongside the Australian government, other businesses and the wider community for the benefit of current and future generations.”