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What Regulations Do Employers Need To Follow In Australia?

Published October 08, 2019 (last updated June 26, 2020) Author: Employsure
WHS OHS For Aus Infographic

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Workplace health and safety model laws

Safe Work Australia developed a set of workplace health and safety model laws in 2011 with the intent of unifying domestic legislation in this area.
Model laws require states, territories, and the Commonwealth to adopt them independently in order to be ratified and enforceable.

The model workplace health and safety laws included:

  • A model workplace health and safety act
  • A model set of workplace health and safety regulations
  • As well as a model Code of Practice

Jurisdictions

The regulatory bodies in each state, territory, and the Commonwealth are responsible for regulating and enforcing workplace health and safety laws within their own jurisdictions.

The map above shows the workplace health and safety agencies, acts, regulations, and codes in each state and territory.

The model laws developed by Safe Work Australia have been implemented in every jurisdiction with the exception of Western Australia and Victoria. Western Australia is currently considering elements of the model workplace health and safety laws. There are also industry-specific legislations that contain workplace health and safety laws, e.g. Electrical Safety Act 2002 (Qld).

Amendments

Model laws are amended periodically but they do not immediately apply to every jurisdiction. For an amendment to the model laws to apply and become legally binding, it must be:

  • created by the relevant body that makes regulations for the given jurisdiction
  • passed by the Parliament of the given jurisdiction
  • and independently enacted in the given jurisdiction

Amendments are a crucial component of workplace health and safety legislations’ continued efficacy. How can laws adequately protect without anticipating new dangers? This is a proactive means of preventing harm.

As Australia’s leading workplace relations specialist, Employsure can help you if you have any questions relating to work health and safety or employer obligations. Call us today on 1300 207 182 to speak with a specialist.

About Employsure

Employsure is Australia’s largest workplace relations specialists. We take the complexity out of workplace laws to help small business employers protect their business and their people.

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