Identifying modern slavery risks

Super Informed
31 Mar 2022
3 min read

We believe that good companies with good corporate behaviour make better investments. Our approach to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues puts us in good stead on modern slavery.

Identifying and addressing modern slavery risks is a commitment UniSuper takes seriously. Under the Commonwealth Modern Slavery Act, the law requires certain entities to disclose the steps taken to address risks of modern slavery in their operations and supply chains each year.

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So, what is modern slavery?

It's a broad term for a range of exploitative practices and labour rights abuses, such as forced labour and human trafficking.

“Essentially, for super funds like us—and by extension, our members—it’s about understanding your supply chain,” says Lou Capparelli, Senior Manager of Sustainable Portfolios & Governance in our investments team. “It’s trying to understand where there are risks of modern slavery occurring and trying to manage those risks.”

There's a distinction between poor work practices and modern slavery, Lou says, noting that for slavery to be present there has to be some sort of restriction of rights.

“You're not going to get modern slavery without poor work practices, but poor work practices can exist without slavery,” Lou says.

“Someone could be doing casual hospitality work and be underpaid—but they’d be free to quit that job tomorrow. With modern slavery, someone is likely to be holding something extra over your head,” Lou says—be it a physical restriction or a threat, such as reporting a visa breach. 

Good governance starts at home

At UniSuper, we believe that good companies with good corporate behaviour make better investments. Our whole-of-fund approach to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues puts us in good stead on modern slavery.  

In our Modern Slavery Statement, we describe the activities we’ve undertaken to identify, assess and address the risks of modern slavery in our internal operations and supply chains. 

Download our Modern Slavery Statement (PDF, 679 KB)

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