Carmelle Hunka
April 30, 2024

Forced Labour in Supply Chains

Are you a Canadian-based company that engages in any of the following activities:

  • Produces, sells or distributes goods in Canada or elsewhere;
  • Imports into Canada goods produced outside Canada; or
  • Controls an entity engaged in either of the two abovenoted activities.

Additionally, is your company listed on a stock exchange in Canada, or does your company have
a place of business in Canada, do business in Canada or have assets in Canada, and meet two
of the following three criteria for at least one of its two most recent financial years:

  • $20 million or more in assets
  • $40 million or more in revenue
  • 250 or more employees

If so, did you know that your company has new reporting obligations as of January 1, 2024?

The Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act (Canada) came into effect on January 1, 2024 and imposes an annual reporting obligation on companies engaged in these activities.

Companies are required to file an annual report by May 31 of each year on the steps taken during the previous financial year to prevent and reduce the risk that forced labour or child labour is used by them or in their supply chains. Reporting will include the following:

  • the company’s structure, activities and supply chains,
  • its policies and due diligence processes in relation to forced labour and child labour,
  • steps taken to assess and manage the risk of forced labour or child labour being used,
  • the measures taken to remediate any forced labour or child labour,
  • the measures taken to remediate the loss of income to the most vulnerable affected families due to measures taken to eliminate the use of forced or child labour,
  • the training provided to employees on forced labour and child labour, and
  • how the company assesses its effectiveness in ensuring that forced labour and child labour are not being used in its business and supply chains.

The report must be approved by the “governing body” of the company, which is defined as the
body or group of members of the entity with primary responsibility for the governance of the entity.
Reports will be submitted to the Minster of Public Safety and must be made available to the public,
including by publishing the reports in a prominent place on the company’s website. In the case of
entities incorporated under the Canada Business Corporations Act, or under any other Act of
Parliament, the report must also be distributed to each shareholder, along with its financial

If your company does not meet the threshold to report but supplies goods to companies that do
meet the threshold, you may be subject to inquiry from them regarding your labour practices as a
part of their compliance program.

The lawyers at Walsh LLP can help you and your supply chain and procurement teams navigate
this new reporting requirement and assist you in preparation of your reports for May 31.

After 25 years advising large companies as inhouse legal counsel, Carmelle Hunka has joined Walsh to bring her business and employment law experience and practical approach to our  clients. Carmelle has extensive experience in all areas of employment law including policies and  plan documents, employment agreements, executive compensation including public disclosure,  incentive plans, terminations, human rights matters, ethics and business conduct matters  including investigations and anti-corruption and anti-bribery matters, and advising companies regarding employment law matters in merger and acquisition activity. 

Carmelle Hunka
Senior Counsel

403.267.8457 •