The Queensland government has recently introduced a 67 page Work Health and Safety Amendment Bill so as to most notably: mandate safety measures in the WHS Codes of Practice; reintroduce the role of workplace health and safety officers; enable WHS Queensland inspectors to make on the spot determinations of WHS disputes; establish an independent statutory office for WHS prosecutions; prohibit duty holders from entering enforceable undertakings in lieu of prosecution for offences involving a fatality; and as the headline states – to introduce an industrial manslaughter offence with a 20 year jail term and $10 million in fines.
A Victorian appeals court has finally found the Victorian Civil Administration Tribunal decision in dismissing a worker’s equal opportunity claim to be erroneous, and has granted the depressed worker a right to argue for a new recourse at a full hearing.
The force of religious laws within employment contracts have recently been reaffirmed by the New South Wales Supreme Court.
A former nursing director of the Cape York Health Service has been awarded $1.7 million in damages, after maltreatment from her district CEO forced the employee into medical retirement.
A former general manager has recently been awarded compensation for brain damage and other workplace injuries, after he self-medicated with alcohol in order to deal with the stress of employees taking advantage of the workers’ compensation system.
A casual delivery driver for the Erina Domino’s store in NSW has claimed that missing out on winning the 2016 driver-of-the-year award year has left her with a psychological injury.
Two recent cases in South Australia and New South Wales demonstrate the severity with which Australian courts and tribunals treat workplace harassment allegations.
After pleading guilty to breaching Section 26 of the Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Act (“Duties of persons who manage or control workplaces”) and ignoring numerous WorkSafe Victoria improvement notices, Leeming Furniture Pty Ltd have been convicted and fined $22,500 and more than $4,000 in costs.
Australia has some of the highest rates of illicit substance use in the world, and with some recent evidence showing that workers who misuse drugs or alcohol are at a higher risk of workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities, this is quickly becoming an issue employers simply cannot ignore.