This is the third Modern Slavery Statement for the Australasian Performing Right Association Limited (APRA) (ABN 42 000 016 099) made under section 14 of the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth). This statement covers the reporting period 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022.
Structure of APRA
APRA’s head office is located in Ultimo, Sydney. APRA has five other offices across Australia and an office in Auckland, New Zealand.APRA has formed an administrative partnership with the Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society Limited (AMCOS) (ABN87 001 678 851) but does not own or control this entity or any other entities. APRA AMCOS is the trading name of Australasian PerformingRight Association Limited and Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society. APRA also issues joint licences under agreements with the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia Ltd (PPCA) (ABN 43 000 680 704), however APRA does not own or control PPCA or any entities related to PPCA.
As APRA does not control or own any other entities, APRA was not required to consult with any other entities regarding risks to modern slavery in preparing this statement.
APRA, in alliance with AMCOS, is a music rights management organisation representing over 111,000 members who are songwriters, composers and music publishers. APRA is run by an executive management team in liaison with a non-executive board of directors. Individual writer members and representatives of publisher members are elected to the board by their respective memberships for renewable three-year terms.
APRA conducts its operations in Australia and New Zealand. APRA licenses organisations to play, perform, copy, record or make available its members’ music, and APRA distributes the royalties to its members and overseas collecting societies. During the reporting period, APRA employed approximately 320 employees in Australia and New Zealand. APRA also engaged approximately 65 daily rate contractors through recruitment agencies in Australia.
APRA is affiliated with similar collecting societies around the world. When Australian and New Zealand songs and compositions are performed overseas, Australian and New Zealand members receive payment. APRA also helps music customers in Australia and New Zealand access music from the rest of the world. APRA also advocates on behalf of music creators' rights and the Australasian music industry locally, nationally and internationally.
Identification of Risks of Modern Slavery
Australia is generally considered to be a low modern slavery risk country by international standards. Due to the nature of APRA’s business, the previous assessment of APRA’s supply chains and exposure to the risk of modern slavery was that its risk was low. Over the reporting year, the business identified that the risk remains low in terms of supply chains and operations.
Audit of APRA’s operational and supply chain exposure to modern slavery risks.
- APRA reviewed its risks with regard to modern slavery at the start of the reporting period. The nature of APRA’s operations is conducting business substantially in Australia and New Zealand, which have been identified as countries at low risk of modern slavery. Additionally, APRA is regularly audited to ensure compliance with relevant industrial legislation and employment conditions in both Australia and New Zealand.
- During the reporting period, APRA engaged approximately 65 contractors on a daily rate. The majority of these contractors provide high value skills in the area of information technology. As a part of an ongoing review of these arrangements, it was confirmed that most daily rate contractors provide services through a recruitment agency and all daily rate contractors are based in Australia. These contractors provide high value skills which lowers their risks to be victims of modern slavery.
- Also during the reporting period, due to the COVID-19 driven skills shortage in Australia APRA began exploring sourcing technology expertise and resources via third party providers in the South-East Asian region. A key concern identified during the due diligence for this particular partnership was a risk assessed as potentially low to moderate of modern slavery. As a result, APRA took preventative measures to address potential modern slavery risks in this context as outlined in the case study provided under Actions taken by APRA to address modern slavery risks (Case Study: Partnering with an international technology resourcing provider).
- APRA acknowledges that risks exist from the supply of services to APRA, such as cleaning and maintenance to our office premises in Australia. A review of these suppliers concluded that with these types of services, low skilled work with low wages is required to perform these services, which is at greater risk of labour exploitation and modern slavery, and that these risks exist within Australia and New Zealand. As most of these suppliers are located within Australia, this reduces the risk of modern slavery occurring in the supply chain for these services, but that risk is still present.
- After undertaking this review of our operations and supply chain, APRA’s assessment is that the risks to modern slavery continue to be in its supply chain through the supply of resources and services by third party providers.
- These risks are assessed as low where we are partnering with local suppliers or with US and UK based providers of high value software services.
- The risk increases to moderate to high when we are sourcing services from providers based in the South-East Asian region.
Actions taken by APRA to address modern slavery risks
1. APRA’s Commitment against modern slavery
Modern slavery is against all of APRA’s values of Collaboration, Respect, Skill, Imagination and Accountability. APRA added the new value of“Accountability” over the last year specifically to communicate APRA’s commitment to taking ownership and actively participating in sustaining our work community in a safe and supported way. Living up to this value requires that we seek, provide, accept and acknowledge feedback, and learn from and remedy mistakes without resentment or blame-shifting.
APRA is committed to having effective systems and controls in place to safeguard against any form of modern slavery taking place within its business and its supply chains.
2. Policies and Procedures
APRA abides and operates under a number of policies to ensure that we are conducting its business in an ethical and transparent way. These policies include:
- Procurement Policy;
- Whistleblower Policy; and
- Service Provider Code of Conduct (Code).
The Procurement Policy clearly sets out APRA’s commitment to give preference to procurements which provide social and environmentally sustainable benefits where practicable. The Procurement Policy is maintained by the Finance and Administration Division. It specifies processes for selecting suppliers. The processes are based on the threshold value of the purchase and any purchases above
$20,000 require two or more quotes, which are subject to evaluation by a panel against specified tender criteria. The Procurement Policy allows for a price preference of up to 10% to be applied to procurements which provide a social benefit and which prioritise local suppliers.
The Code is a document issued to third party service providers to APRA where they provide substantial or ongoing services to APRA. A third party which is identified as a substantial or ongoing service provider is required to sign the Code to continue its arrangements with APRA. The Code requires that the service provider confirms that they will comply with the applicable laws with regard to modern slavery.
APRA’s Whistleblower Policy is available on its website and contains a link to an independent hotline for eligible whistleblowers to report a wide range of issues, including modern slavery. Staff were reminded of APRA’s processes for raising concerns, including APRA’s Whistleblower hotline. APRA’s whistleblower website remains an appropriate portal to receive reports regarding information of modern slavery within APRA or its supply chains.
3. Reviewed third party supplier commitment to compliance with modern slavery legislation
- During the reporting period, APRA continued to require third party suppliers to sign the Code.
- APRA has ensured that each local recruitment agency that contracts to APRA for the sourcing and provision of Australian contractors on a daily rate is a signatory to the Code in order to minimize risks of modern slavery.
- Compliance to the Code by third party suppliers continues to be the most appropriate way to manage modern slavery risks. Two suppliers to APRA of software services based in the United States of America, as well as two large accounting consulting firms with head offices in the United States of America declined to sign the Code but instead offered compliance with their own corporate codes of conduct. APRA was satisfied with this approach as the services are being supplied from outside Australia, and, therefore, for an overseas based entity, compliance with Australian legislation may be difficult for that entity to ensure.
- Because children are identified as being at high risk of modern slavery, APRA also conducted an audit to establish that all participants in the APRA SongMakers program had completed Working With Children Checks and training and had returned a signed Code. This review was conducted by the producer of the SongMakers Program, Tina Broad. All signed copies of the Code are stored in APRA’scentralized Service Provide Code of Conduct secure folder.
- For the upcoming reporting year, we are putting in place practices to track signing of the Code by all APRA Grants Recipients. The Grants program has undergone a significant review this year and a more robust and centralized reporting and governance structure has been established to ensure transparent and timely reporting to the Board and management. This reporting will include data on the return of signed Codes.
- APRA will continue to require that substantial new suppliers are signatories to the Code.
4. Ensured third party suppliers in the Asia-Pacific region offered salaries commensurate with minimum standards set by Award rates in Australia
Case Study: Partnering with an international technology resourcing provider
APRA AMCOS has contracted with an international technology resource provider (Provider) to recruit and manage remote technology experts to support the Australian APRA AMCOS technology team with the delivery of projects. The Provider is an Australian entity that manages all the HR, payroll, office space and legal matters associated with resourcing from a number of countries in the South-East Asian region and are dedicated to working with the APRA technology team. The APRA HR team and IT leadership team worked closely with the Provider to ensure the professionals recruited to work on APRA projects would be paid above the minimum rates payable to Australian employees under the Professional Employees Award 2020.
5. Partnering with The Freedom Hub to offer ethical café and catering services to APRA staff in the Sydney Office.
The Freedom Hub exists to end slavery in Australia, help people who have experienced this crime recover and partner in the fight to end global slavery. When seeking a café services provider for our Ultimo office, APRA selected The Freedom Hub as a supplier. The Freedom Hub runs a Survivor School which provides survivors of modern slavery long-term wrap around support. They do this by running free, personalised classes to assist survivors in recovering from complex trauma and by providing training to help them become ready to work. Their Peer Support Program provides activities, workshops, community building and recreational sports.
APRA subsidised the cost of the café and ran all catering for events held onsite during the year through The Freedom Hub. All funds raised go to helping survivors. Over the 2023 reporting year we intend to broaden this partnership to offer training to staff and to third party service providers to raise their awareness of modern slavery and begin to take actions to mitigate risks in their day-to-day decisions and businesses.
6. Remediation Requirements
In the three years of complying with the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act 2018, APRA has not yet been required to undertake any remediation processes for compliance.
Assessment of effectiveness
Over the previous reporting periods, APRA’s focus has been primarily on identifying any risks in its operations and supply chains and taking action to address or prevent against those risks.
For the upcoming reporting year, APRA will set up a cross-functional Modern Slavery Committee as part of its Equity Action Plan work. This Committee will be made up of representatives from the key areas of the business that are involved in procurement (Events, Finance &Administration, Membership, Licensing, Technology and People & Culture). This Committee will be responsible for tracking and assessing the progress and efficacy of APRA’s modern slavery commitments and ensuring these are reported on to the APRA Board’s Audit Risk &Culture Committee at least twice a year, and included in this annual report to Border Force.
The APRA Executive Leadership team has undertaken to ensure adequate resources are available within APRA to ensure slavery is not taking place within APRA or within its supply chains.
While APRA appreciates that unsafe working conditions in themselves do not constitute modern slavery, APRA’s commitment against modern slavery includes to identify, assess and address these risks as a potential flag of occurrences of modern slavery or related conduct, or circumstances that may increase the risk of modern slavery occurring.
Statement of Expectations
The Statement of Expectations was introduced during the reporting period. Unanimously endorsed by both the APRA and the AMCOS Boards, the Statement outlines APRA’s expectation that everyone involved with APRA AMCOS will respect others, act lawfully, safely and responsibly. The Statement was developed in response to allegations of sexual harm, harassment and sexual and racial discrimination in the music industry. The Statement applies to all our members, staff, advisory groups, award nominees, award winners and others involved in any APRA AMCOS function, event and program, and to partners and contractors in their dealings with APRA AMCOS. It outlines the kinds of behaviours that are unacceptable and how to speak up if breaches occur. The Statement of Expectations is supplementary to the APRA AMCOS Service Provider Code of Conduct. Over 70% of APRA AMCOS 180 Ambassadors (high profile members) have signed up to the APRA AMCOS Statement of Expectations.
National Music Industry Review and Raising Their Voice Report
APRA has dedicated a significant amount of its time and resources during the reporting period to an emerging risk that was identified by the national Music Industry Review (Review), being the presence of high levels of sexual harassment, bullying and exclusion in the industry.
APRA was a founding member of the Review which was conducted by independent consultants, Alexandra Shehadie and Sam Turner. TheReview’s Raising Their Voices Report (Report) identified widespread risk, inequality and discrimination for many in the industry and that women and diverse, marginalized groups are more likely than men to suffer sexual harassment and bullying and that perpetrators in the industry are rarely held to account. The Report also identified challenges that are specific to the music industry and that increase risk exposure, such as the large number and diversity of workplaces, high proportion of freelancers, ‘gig economy’ workers and small organisations, lack of job security for many workers, and the passion people have for music, which may lead them to accept poor practices and behaviour.
Mindful of these industry-wide concerns and risks identified in the Report, and that this has the potential to create a higher level of risk in our industry for modern slavery, APRA has been proactive in partnering with industry to address these risks. APRA was a signatory to the Joint Industry Statement of Acknowledgement, which accepted and acknowledged the harm documented in the Report, apologized for that harm and committed to working through the 17 recommendations of the report to ensure industry workplaces are safe, inclusive and respectful. APRA has continued to work with colleagues in the industry, and with Government to advocate for and enable the implementation of these important recommendations.
This statement is made pursuant to the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth) and constitutes APRA’s Modern Slavery Statement for the financial year ending 30 June 2022. A copy of this Modern Slavery Statement will be published on the APRA AMCOS external website.
This statement has been approved by the APRA's Board of Directors, who will review and update it annually. APRA’s Executive Leadership team takes responsibility for implementing this statement and its objectives.
Signed on behalf of the APRA Board of Directors
Download a copy of this statement (156KB)