23 December 2021

Personal protective equipment supplied by Ansell Ltd under HSV agreements

HealthShare Victoria (HSV) continues to uphold the Australian Government's position on modern slavery, which states there is no place for modern slavery in the Australian community or in the global supply chains of Australian goods and services.

HSV has responded to a recent media report that a subsidiary manufacturer of Australian personal protective equipment (PPE) supplier Ansell Ltd has been banned by US Customs and Border Protection for workplace conditions described as being akin to 'modern slavery'.

Ansell supplies single-use gloves to global markets, including to Victoria’s public health services through HSV agreements, and uses subsidiary manufacturer Brightway Group.

HSV has met with Ansell to seek assurance that action is being taken to ensure Brightway workplace conditions comply with Modern Slavery Act (MSA) requirements, which prohibit suppliers from using child, forced or involuntary labour.  

Ansell advises that:

  • No products from Brightway Group are supplied into its Australian or New Zealand markets.
  • Brightway has advised Ansell that it has put in place corrective strategies that address recommendations from an earlier audit on employee working conditions.

HSV actively works to combat modern slavery across the health supply chain

HSV recognises our significant role in combating modern slavery in health service supply chains and that our actions benefit the broader health sector.

We have adopted a risk-based approach to modern slavery prevention by:

  • Supporting health services in preparing their annual Modern Slavery Statements in line with the MSA
  • Actively addressing concerns raised in our health supply chains
  • Working with our suppliers to make sure they understand the requirements of both the MSA and the Victorian Government’s Supplier Code of Conduct.  

Since the MSA was enacted, HSV continues to work with our suppliers, including Ansell, to confirm their commitment to the MSA and Code of Conduct requirements, and we support activities to address concerns raised.

Previous HSV actions in response to modern slavery concerns

In September 2021, HSV sought an update from Ansell on the supply of Top Glove products in Victoria. Ansell advised it had ceased sourcing PPE for the Asia-Pacific region from Top Glove in August 2020, following an audit process that identified non-compliance.

Ansell monitors supplier performance through direct engagement and regular performance reviews in addition to third-party audits. Where it identifies non-compliance, suppliers are required to create specific corrective action plans and undergo regular follow-up audits.

Most of Top Glove’s follow-up audits that had been scheduled for June-August 2021 had been delayed due to COVID-19 movement control orders in Malaysia following a significant surge in cases there. We understand future audits will be scheduled as soon as possible once movement control orders are removed.

Further information

HSV will provide further updates in response to these issues as required. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns please contact a Customer Relationship Manager or the HSV Helpdesk at helpdesk@healthsharevic.org.au or 03 9947 3900.

Neil Rodaway
Chief Executive