Australian Property Firms Fall Short on Modern Slavery

Australian property companies have only made minor improvements in their assessments on modern slavery and human rights risk exposure across their supply chains, according to a report by PIRC. The report by the corporate governance and shareholder advisory consultancy analysed the due diligence policies and procedures implemented by nine large property firms in one of their highest risk portfolios: commercial cleaning. While all property owners have made commitments to eradicate modern slavery in their supply chains, these commitments have largely failed to “translate” into due diligence approaches that will successfully address modern slavery and labour exploitation, the report said. PIRC noted that in 2022 only “minor improvements” were made across major themes, with risk assessment being the only major exception to the trend. Additionally, investors are not being provided information they require to assess the effectiveness of property owners’ current and proposed due diligence mechanisms. Only two of the nine owners provided any quantitative information on the number of allegations of labour non-conformances raised through their grievance mechanisms.  

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