Alberta businesses concerned about meeting new anti-slavery reporting timeline: KPMG study

Challenges in mapping and managing supply chain add worries about potential risk exposure

Alberta businesses concerned about meeting new anti-slavery reporting timeline: KPMG study

With most Alberta businesses preparing to comply and address new federal anti-slavery legislation, well over half (62 percent) say they are worried about their ability to meet reporting timelines, according to a new survey by KPMG in Canada.

KPMG's 2023 Private Enterprise™ Business Survey also found that 57 percent of small- and medium-sized businesses in Alberta are concerned about their ability to map out forced labour and child labour risks across their entire supply chain, and half worry about their ability to manage those risks.

Canada's Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act, which takes effect on Jan. 1, 2024, requires public and certain private companies to review and assess working conditions in their supply chain and first report on their efforts to eliminate these practices by May 31, 2024. Companies will be required to report annually to show continued progress in reducing forced and child labour practices.

"The new modern slavery law coming into effect is adding a sense of urgency for companies to take a hard look at their supply chains, understand where they could be exposed to forced labour and child labour risks, and take action," said Jana Hanova, a Calgary-based global infrastructure advisory partner in ESG at KPMG in Canada. "Compared to the national average, our survey shows most companies in Alberta have started to review or address gaps in their current supply chain management system to prepare for disclosure, yet they are still the most concerned about meeting reporting timelines."

Key survey findings:

  • 62 percent of companies surveyed in Alberta are concerned about meeting the May 2024 reporting timeline.
  • 75 percent already have a program to prevent and remedy modern slavery in their extended supply chain and any goods they import
  • 74 percent have started to review gaps between current supply chain management systems and new legal requirements
  • 50 percent are concerned about their ability to manage risks of forced and child labour through their full, extended supply chain
  • 64 percent already conduct regular risks assessment related to working conditions and human rights in their operations and supply chains
  • 58 percent are concerned about increased trade and customs risks when importing goods into Canada (e.g., any imported mined, manufactured or produced goods could be seized at the border)


"As ESG risks become better understood, companies are taking more action to trace their source materials and products and increase the resiliency of their value chain. These sustainability-minded decisions can have a positive impact in the long run," said Hanova.

KPMG in Canada surveyed business owners or executive level C-suite decision-makers at 700 small-and-medium-sized Canadian companies between August 30 and Sept. 25, 2023, using Sago's premier business research panel.

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