Supplier survey - FAQs


1. Why is addressing modern slavery important to UnitingCare?

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 values of being committed to assisting our most vulnerable members of society, this is an issue that UnitingCare 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 and community care sector, and effectively respond to the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act.


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

UnitingCare 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, 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.


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

UnitingCare 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.


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

The Commonwealth Modern Slavery Act 2018 came into force on 1 January 2019. The Act requires large businesses and other entities in Australia earning more than $100 million each year publish annual reports on their actions to identify and address modern slavery risks in their operations and supply chains. The Commonwealth Modern Slavery Act 2018 can be found HERE. Additional information regarding the proposed reporting requirements can be accessed HERE.

The annual Modern Slavery Statement is expected to cover, at a minimum, the structure, business and supply chain of the organisation; internal policies, due diligence and remediation processes relating to modern slavery; risk areas for potential modern slavery malpractice and steps taken to assess and manage these risks.

The NSW State Government also passed a Modern Slavery Act in June 2018 which imposes reporting requirements on businesses operating in NSW or employing staff in NSW, and who have a turnover of more than $50 million annually. Further information can be found HERE.


5. 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.


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

This initiative is extremely important to UnitingCare. 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 and mitigating modern slavery risks in your own operations and supply chain.

Your tailored report will offer a valuable starting point for your own compliance with the proposed legislative requirements.


7. 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 3 May 2019).


8. 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 UnitingCare.

You will be provided with a tailored report specific to your organisation which will outline potential risks to your organisation and provide broad recommendations on how to address them.


9. Will a negative survey outcome impact our relationship with UnitingCare?

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.


10. When will we receive our survey results?

Our external consultants will be analysing results and preparing draft reports throughout May and June 2019. We will first review these reports internally and then provide you with a summary report specific to your organisation to you by mid July. We will keep you posted if timeframes change.


11. What ongoing commitment does UnitingCare 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.

UnitingCare 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.


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

Absolutely!

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.