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Canada introduces Bill S211 – the Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act

Article, Industry Insights

Canada introduces Bill S211 – the Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act

New Act introduced on 1 January 2024 now includes additional new online questionnaire component.

Following its first reading in November 2021 and receiving royal assent in May 2023, the Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act came into force on 1 January, 2024 marking a significant step in the international push to combat forms of modern slavery in global supply chains.

Aimed at demonstrating Canada’s international commitment to fighting against forced labour and child labour, the Act now aligns itself with other countries that have introduced similar legislation to help reduce the prevalence of this growing issue around the world.

Clock is ticking for companies that are required to comply

Following enforcement on Monday, time is now beginning to run out for companies to demonstrate compliance with the new Act. Affected businesses having only until 31 May, 2024 to submit their first annual report. It has also been confirmed in guidance issued by Public Safety Canada that companies will have to submit their report in conjunction with an online questionnaire.

New online questionnaire component

The online questionnaire covers company information, annual report details, and reporting for Government institutions and requires companies to respond to several mandatory quantitative questions and a series of non-mandatory descriptive questions to advise on the steps they have taken to assess, identify, prevent and mitigate forms of modern slavery within the supply chain.

The extent of the level of enforcement that can be expected by Canadian regulators remains unclear, however, businesses and individuals who fail to comply may result in financial penalties of up to $250,000. In a recently published survey ‘KPMG 2023 Private Enterprise Business Survey for Canada’, 53% of survey responses reported being “really worried” that there are issues somewhere within the supply chain that will leave them exposed to consumer backlash and/or financial penalties.

If you’re a business now required to comply with the Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act regulations, Achilles is here to help. Read our White Paper here or request a no obligation consultation using the contact form to learn more about how our end-to-end supply chain due diligence services can support your compliance with the Act.

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