Supplier survey - FAQs

1. What is the ACRATH – SVHA Human Trafficking Project?

St Vincent’s Health Australia (SVHA) has joined forces with Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans (ACRATH) to launch the Human Trafficking Project. The project is looking at how to identify trafficked people and assist them in receiving the necessary treatment, support, referrals and access to care and services.

Additionally, the project is looking at how to make sure the goods and services procured at St Vincent’s are slavery-free. This means investigating our supply chain to understand where our diverse range of goods – everything from medical equipment though to cotton sheets and gowns, have been procured without the use of enslaved or forced labour.

2. Why is addressing modern slavery important to SVHA?

The reality is that modern slavery and human trafficking remains a global and growing issue, and that our supply chains are vulnerable. In keeping with our mission and values of being committed to assisting our most vulnerable members of society, this is an issue that SVHA is strongly committed to. We believe that identifying and responding to modern slavery risks is the right thing to do. Addressing issues now will enable us to be leaders in the health care community, before the legislative requirements are formally implemented.

3. Why has our organisation been selected to be part of the supplier Modern Slavery survey?

SVHA believes that the identification and management of modern slavery risks within the supply chain is an important component of our work to provide compassionate care to the most vulnerable members of our society. As a valued supplier to SVHA, we consider you a critical partner to support us in eradicating modern slavery risks within our supply chain. We can’t tackle this issue alone.

4. What do you mean by a “safe space” to provide information?

SVHA is committed to ensuring that all information provided during this supply chain risk assessment remains confidential at all times. It is not our intent to criticise or find fault with your current systems and processes, but rather work together to identify mutually beneficial solutions to this global human rights issue. We encourage you to be honest and open with us, and in return we promise that we will treat your information with respect and care, and provide support where we can.

5. What impact will the legislation changes have on our organisation?

The NSW State Government recently passed a Modern Slavery Act which imposes reporting requirements on businesses operating in NSW or employing staff in NSW, and who have a turnover of more than $50 million. Further information can be found HERE. The annual modern slavery statement is expected to cover, at a minimum, the structure, business and supply chains of the organisation; internal policies, due diligence and remediation processes relating to modern slavery; internal training practices; key risk areas for potential modern slavery malpractice and steps taken to assess and manage these risks.

In addition, the Australian Government introduced a Modern Slavery Bill into Parliament in late June 2018. The federal Bill will expect certain large businesses and other entities in Australia to make similar annual reports on their actions to identify and address modern slavery risks in their operations and supply chains. The federal Modern Slavery Bill can be found HERE. Additional information regarding the proposed reporting requirements can be accessed HERE. Further information will be available regarding the impacts of this Bill, once the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee has handed down its report on 24 August 2018. 

6. Who are the external consultants you are using and can we trust them?

We have selected our consultants based on their experience and reputation in this sector. The consultancy provides collaborative support from the legal, non-government and human rights consulting sectors. We identified this as a unique and powerful partnership to guide us through this assessment process. Further information on our consultants and their unique collaboration can be found HERE.

7. Is it compulsory for us to complete the survey?

While the survey is not compulsory, this initiative is extremely important to SVHA. As one of our key suppliers, we trust that addressing this issue is also important to you and encourage your organisation to take the time to complete this survey. You will receive a tailored report which will assist you in understanding where the risks and mitigating these risks. Your tailored report will offer a valuable starting point for your own compliance with the proposed legislative requirements.

8. What if we don’t provide supporting documentation and evidence?

Wherever possible, we encourage you to provide documentation as it will help identify gaps and inform recommendations for your business. We understand that documentation might not always be readily available or in some instances developed. Where this is the case, please provide details in the survey of what stage you are at so we can work with you to identify areas for improvement. We will also be happy to accept supporting documentation via email for up to a week following the closing date of the survey (the survey closes on 12 September 2018).

9. How will our responses be used?

All information provided in the survey will be analysed by our external consultants. An overall summary report of all survey outcomes will be provided to SVHA. You will be provided with a tailored report specific to your organisation by late October which will outline potential risks to your organisation and provide broad recommendations on how to address them.

10. Will a negative survey outcome impact our relationship with SVHA?

No.  We acknowledge that modern slavery and human trafficking exists and remains a growing issue across global supply chains.  Our aim is to identify gaps and opportunities in our current supply chain management systems and processes.  We see this survey as a positive step in working more collaboratively with our suppliers to address and mitigate our collective supply chain risks.  If risks of slavery and trafficking are identified in the course of the assessment, we will offer to work with you and support your organisation to address these concerns.

11. When will we receive our survey results?

Our external consultants will be analysing results and preparing draft reports throughout August and September. We will first review these reports internally and then provide you with a summary report specific to your organisation to you by late October. We will keep you posted if timeframes change.

12. What ongoing commitment does SVHA have to addressing modern slavery risks?

We understand that there is no immediate way to eradicate modern slavery. We are excited to see that the spotlight is firmly shining on this issue from all sectors of our society (government, business, NGO’s and the broader community). Over the next few years, businesses all across Australia will be learning how to map their supply chain, identify modern slavery risk, develop due diligence processes as well as train and engage their staff and suppliers on this issue.

Government expectations are that it will take up to three years for businesses to develop and implement new strategies and approaches for managing their supply chain risks. We believe that long term partnerships and collaboration are essential to effectively mitigate these risks.

SVHA looks forward to working with you, as a key and valued supplier, to improve our existing systems and processes to better address this issue. Together we can be leaders in this space.

13. Can we share our survey results with other customers?


The information you gather and the report you receive as part of this survey will be a valuable resource for you as you engage with other customers on this issue. We encourage you to share your survey outcomes and let your stakeholders know that you are actively addressing modern slavery risks in your supply chain.