HCF releases its first Modern Slavery Statement

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HCF has released its first Modern Slavery Statement that it says outlines its commitment to the fair and humane treatment of people in its operations and supply chains.

The federal Modern Slavery Act 2018 has created an annual reporting requirement for Australian-based companies - Australian and foreign entities - with revenue in excess of $100 million. 

These companies are required to prepare and publish a statement explaining what they are doing to assess and address the risks of modern slavery to their Australian and global operations and supply chains.

The statement must be provided to the Australian Border Force and they are published on a register.

The requirement goes beyond a statement like that required in the UK. Australian-based companies are required to provide detailed explanations of actions taken to identify, assess and mitigate the risks, as well as educate and train staff.

The requirement is also ongoing with companies having to assess themselves and act to continually reduce the risk of modern slavery in their supply chains.

HCF is Australia’s largest not-for-profit health fund and provides health insurance products to more than 1.7 million members. It employs more than 1,200 people across Australia.

The company said it has taken steps to develop policy and processes to ensure any risks associated with modern slavery are identified and addressed.

CEO Sheena Jack said, “As Australia’s largest not-for-profit health fund, we take seriously our responsibility to care about the impact that our business has on our members, our people, the communities in which we operate and the environment.

“We have worked with business leaders across the group to identify any risk of modern slavery across our operations and supply chains, and set up an internal working group to ensure we’re taking a pragmatic and progressive approach to addressing modern slavery risk.

“Our members have a right to expect that we’re acting in their interests and continuing to hold ourselves to a high standard.”