nib's fight against modern slavery

nib's fight against modern slavery | Insurance Business


Health insurer nib Group has joined thousands of Australian organisations that are working on their respective modern slavery reports, in compliance with the Modern Slavery Act. Insurance Business spoke with group executive legal and chief risk officer Roslyn Toms (pictured) to find out how the process is progressing for nib.

“Our efforts have centred on improving the visibility and understanding of our supply chain and ethical procurement practices as we focus on creating a more sustainable supply chain,” said Toms.

“While we are proud of the significant progress that has been made in our first year, there is more to be done. We are also cognisant that eradicating modern slavery will require ongoing focus in collaboration with industry, the community, and other stakeholders.”

Leading nib through the undertaking is group corporate affairs manager Renea Jaeger, who believes it’s crucial to be realistic about timelines and to have a clear plan forward.

Additionally, Jaeger recommends the creation of a standard that doesn’t just comply, but is a reflection of company culture, values, and stakeholder expectations.

Toms, meanwhile, told Insurance Business: “We’ve worked with our suppliers to increase their awareness and understanding of modern slavery including potential red flags to look out for within their own supply chain and operations.

“Our focus has been on education through FAQs, providing resources about modern slavery, and simply having one-to-one chats about our expectations around their efforts to protect human rights.”

According to the chief risk officer, nib is “extremely supportive” of the Modern Slavery Act. In the organisation’s view, it has a responsibility to protect the human rights not only of its members and travellers, its people, and those in its supply chain, but also that of the wider community.

“We recognised the impact an industry approach would deliver, so something we’re really proud of is the establishment of a private health insurance consortium featuring the majority of Australian health funds that are working together to address modern slavery risks across the industry,” noted Toms.

“Jointly we’ve developed an industry supplier questionnaire and initial risk assessment methodology to assist us in our due diligence process by supporting the identification of modern slavery risks through improved transparency of the practices of our suppliers and their suppliers.”

To undertake the assessments while making it easier for suppliers to provide the requested information, nib is utilising corporate social responsibility platform Informed 365.

As for the consortium, it is consistent with Jaeger’s advice for companies to collaborate with their industries. The nib executive believes doing so will result in changes across the board, thus lifting the standard unanimously.