No matter what size your business is or how complex your supply chain, we have solutions that can be scaled and adapted to any organization. Fill in the form bellow and we’ll get back to you the sooner we can.

FRDM uses the contact information you provide to us to contact you about our products and services. By submitting this form, you consent to receive emails. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For information on how to unsubscribe, as well as our privacy practices and commitment to protecting your privacy, please review our privacy policy.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
On December 20, 2023, Public Safety Canada launched its new website providing guidance on implementing the Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act ("Supply Chains Act") or Bill S-211, which takes effect January 1, 2024. The website introduces a detailed questionnaire for submitting required reports, adding complexity to compliance. Companies should carefully review the guidance and questionnaire well before filing reports to ensure their approach aligns with Public Safety Canada's expectations for the Supply Chains Act.

Who Needs To Report

The Act defines an entity as a corporation, trust, partnership, or other unincorporated organization that is either:

- Listed on a Canadian stock exchange, or

- Has a place of business, does business, or holds assets in Canada and, based on its consolidated financial statements, meets at least two of the following conditions for one of its two most recent financial years:

- Has at least $20 million in assets

- Has generated at least $40 million in revenue 

- Employs an average of at least 250 employees

Report Requirements

Each year by May 31, entities must submit a report to the Minister of Public Safety detailing the following from the previous financial year:

  • The entity's structure, activities, and supply chains - requirement (a)
  • Policies and due diligence processes regarding forced labour and child labour - requirement (b)
  • Parts of the business and supply chains at risk for forced labour or child labour, including risk assessment and management steps taken - requirement (c)
  • Steps taken to prevent and reduce the risk of forced labor or child labor in the production of goods in Canada or elsewhere by the entity or in goods imported into Canada by the entity - requirement (d)
  • Any measures taken to remediate forced and/or child labor.
  • Any measures taken to provide income replacement to vulnerable families impacted by eliminating forced or child labor from activities and supply chains.
  • Training provided to employees on forced or child labor.
  • How the entity assesses its effectiveness at preventing forced or child labor in its business and supply chains.
A report must meet all of the following requirements, in order to fully comply with the Act:
  • Includes information addressing each of the legal requirements in subsections 11(1) and 11(3) of the Act
  • Has received the required approvals and includes the signed attestation
  • Does not exceed 10 pages in length, or 20 pages for reports provided in both Canadian official languages
  • Is a PDF file that does not exceed 100MB in size

The Questionnaire

The Canadian government now requires that an online questionnaire be filled out along with your report. Some mandatory questions gather identifying details about the entity, including the financial year the report covers and the sector in which the reporting entity operates. Other mandatory questions collect data required to comply with each of the Act's reporting mandates. Optional open-ended questions (limited to 1500 characters) follow the mandatory closed-ended questions. These allow entities to expand on their responses to the mandatory questions and provide additional information if desired.
While not required, entities are strongly encouraged to complete the optional open-ended questions in the questionnaire. Gathering this data over time is expected to enhance entities' ability to identify, prevent, reduce, and address forced labor and child labor risks. Providing this information enables entities to demonstrate leadership, responsibility, and the transparency partners, investors, and the public seek. Entities can use the identical information and structure from the questionnaire to prepare their report.

Here are some new details from the new guidelines we think are important to know

Reporting in multiple jurisdictions
The Government of Canada acknowledges that many international entities must report on their supply chains to comply with modern slavery laws in several countries, including the UK and Australia. While some reporting requirements are similar across jurisdictions, others differ. If an entity's report produced for another country contains information relevant to Canada's Act, they may submit the same details to fulfill Canada's mandatory criteria. However, entities must ensure their Canadian reports meet all outlined requirements. For transparency, entities should note if they report to other jurisdictions as well.
Characteristics of a compliant response

The report must include complete, truthful responses aligned with the questionnaire. Entities should sign the attestation. The report may be deemed non-compliant if responses are missing, false, or misleading.

Entities should use discretion to provide an appropriate level of detail based on their size and risks. They can supplement responses by linking to relevant public documents like action plans, policies, codes of conduct, risk assessments, audits, supplier lists, and disclosures.

Entities can describe related initiatives on human rights, ESG, and responsible business conduct. They can connect current actions to previous years' work..

The report will use plain language to make it accessible to the public. Entities should provide honest descriptions of concrete actions taken in the past year to address forced labour and child labour risks, not aspirational goals. While future plans may be mentioned, the report's focus is past actions. Entities need not disclose commercially sensitive information or details on specific cases that would violate privacy or create legal risks.

Steps to prevent and reduce risks of forced and/or labor

The questionnaire provides examples of measures that entities may have implemented to prevent and mitigate risks of forced labor and child labor. This list is not comprehensive, and entities are encouraged to report any additional actions taken in the "Other" category. Entities should also provide supplementary details on their efforts, such as:

  • Whether the actions applied broadly or to specific parts of the entity's operations and supply chain
  • The specific issues the actions aimed to address (e.g. forced labor, child labor, etc.)
  • The groups the actions targeted (e.g. supply chain partners, internal stakeholders, etc.)
  • Details on the actions taken (e.g. policies, processes, implementation methods)
  • Steps taken by controlled entities to address these issues (for entities controlling other entities)

There may be overlap between the steps outlined here and those described in subsequent questions on due diligence and employee training. This overlap is expected and acceptable, as this section intends to summarize the entity's overall response, while subsequent questions ask for additional details on specific aspects of that response.

Here are some new details on the requirements for every report

Structure, activities and supply chains (Requirement A)

The Act defines activities as all pursuits undertaken by an entity related to producing, selling, distributing, or importing goods. When reporting activities, entities may include details on:

- Production, manufacturing, growing, extracting, processing, sale, or distribution of goods in Canada and abroad, including types and volumes 

- Importation of goods into Canada, including types and volumes imported and origin locations

- Operating locations (countries or regions)

Entities should also describe the activities of any entities they control that have reporting obligations under the Act. Guidance on the Act's application provides more information. The supply chain consists of suppliers of goods and services that contribute to producing the entity's final product, from raw material sourcing through to the end product. It includes direct and indirect suppliers and service providers in Canada and abroad. It does not include end users or customers purchasing the products or services.

When describing supply chains, entities should identify the source countries or regions of goods and services used at each stage as completely as possible.

Entities should provide a comprehensive overview of their structure, activities, and supply chains, not omitting any aspects they believe carry no forced or child labor risks. 

Policies and due diligence processes (Requirement B)

The OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct outlines a due diligence process for companies to identify and address potential negative impacts of their activities across the supply chain. This process involves embedding responsible business conduct into policies, identifying and assessing adverse impacts, ceasing or mitigating them, tracking results, communicating actions taken, and enabling remediation when needed.

Identification of Forced labor and child labor risks (Requirement C)

The Act requires entities to identify parts of their operations and supply chains that could involve forced labor or child labor, either in the entity's own activities or those of its controlled entities and direct or indirect suppliers. This identification does not require proving that forced labor or child labor has actually occurred. Rather, entities should demonstrate consideration of how their activities and supply chains may potentially cause, contribute to, or be linked to forced labor or child labor risks.  

No industries or supply chains are assumed to be risk-free regarding forced labor and child labor. The purpose is not to certify an entity as "risk-free," but to show steps taken to identify and address risks. This transparency aims to encourage progress, not penalize entities that find risks.   

Entities should avoid disclosing commercially sensitive details or specific cases that raise legal or privacy issues. The questionnaire allows entities to identify general risk areas related to sectors, industries, countries, or regions. Additional details are encouraged, such as risks tied to certain products or supply chain steps. Entities may volunteer anonymized case studies, but individual privacy should be protected.

The questionnaire also allows entities to describe their risk assessment and management processes, either for each risk or in general terms. Controlled entities should also be addressed. Explanations could cover supply chain mapping, formal risk assessments, and mitigation strategies. The goal is transparency into systematic efforts to identify, assess, and manage forced labor and child labor risks.

Remediation measures (Requirement D)

Remediation and remedy refer to the processes and outcomes that counteract adverse impacts. In business and human rights contexts, including forced labor and child labor, remediation may involve various measures aimed at rectifying human rights harms. Appropriate remedies depend on the situation. For more on remediation, see the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and additional resources. 

Entities should also describe measures taken by controlled entities, if applicable. The purpose is to encourage transparency, not to disclose sensitive information or discuss specific cases in problematic ways. If entities assess they have no risk of forced or child labor, stating this suffices. Alternatively, entities can indicate no remediation measures were taken, if none were.

Remediation of loss of income (Requirement E)

Efforts to prevent and reduce forced labor and child labor may unintentionally lead to loss of income for vulnerable families. Requirement (e) refers to any measures taken to compensate for the loss of income experienced by the most vulnerable families resulting from actions to eliminate forced labor or child labor in the entity's activities and supply chains.  

If an entity controls other entities, it must also describe the income loss remediation measures those controlled entities have implemented, if applicable. 

As with requirement (d), if entities determine that vulnerable families have not lost income due to the entity's actions to eliminate forced labor and child labor risks, or if the entity has not taken any measures in this area, stating this in the report sufficiently addresses the requirement.

Training (Requirement F)

Training on forced labor and child labor can take various forms, from formal courses to awareness activities. When reporting on such training, entities may provide details including:

  • Whether the training is mandatory or optional
  • Whether it covers all employees or specific departments/branches
  • Which employee groups receive it (e.g. management)
  • Training content and topics (forced labor, child labor, or both)
  • Who developed the training (internal or external organization)
  • Length of training
  • Any assessments given
  • Number of employees trained currently or in future
  • Additional relevant information

Assessing Effectiveness (Requirement G)

To meet the reporting requirements, entities must describe the policies, procedures, and other measures they have implemented to track and measure their effectiveness in identifying and reducing risks of forced labor and child labor. Simply stating the results of assessments is insufficient. Entities must detail their processes for conducting assessments.

Alternatively, entities may indicate they have not taken any actions to evaluate their performance in mitigating forced labor and child labor risks. Including this in their report satisfies the requirement.

If an entity controls other entities, it must also depict how these subsidiaries assess their effectiveness in guaranteeing forced labor and child labor are absent from their business operations and supply chains.

Here’s Their Suggested Process Overview

  1. Prepare Report
Reporting entities must create a report that complies with all of the reporting requirements under the Act. It is recommended that entities consult internally and compile the necessary information for their report.
  1. Approval and Attestation
Once the report is finished, it must receive approval from the appropriate governing body or bodies with the legal authority to bind the organization. The signed attestation should be included in the final submitted PDF version of the report.
  1. Complete Online Questionnaire 
Entities must fill out the online questionnaire after the report has been attested. Each of the Act's requirements is addressed in a series of open-ended and closed-end questions that are included in the questionnaire. Entities must make sure that the information in their report and the questionnaire are consistent.
  1. Upload Completed Report
Entities must upload their attested report in PDF format before choosing "submit" at the questionnaire's conclusion. A confirmation message acknowledging an entity's distribution will appear once they have finished and submitted the survey, which includes the report in PDF format.
  1. Publish Report To Entity’s Website
Entities are required to place their submitted statement prominently on their website. Public Safety Canada will also make a searchable online catalog of the document that was submitted via the questionnaire publicly available.

Marketing Team