Two key amendments that all employers must be aware of are:
- 1. Recognition of labour hire workers as employees; and
- 2. Prohibition of certain insurance and indemnity arrangements to prevent employers avoiding penalties for offences under occupational health and safety laws.
The revised law gives labour hire workers the same rights and safety conditions as traditional employees. The amended definition ensures that labour hire workers are considered employees of the host employer as well as employees of the labour hire agency. This means that both the host employer and labour hire agency must work together to ensure the safety of the labour hire workers.
A breach of this duty will result in fines of up to $32,713 for individuals and $163,566 for businesses.
These amendments commence on 22 March 2022.
Insurance and Indemnity arrangements
In the past businesses have been allowed to buy insurance cover for the subsequent fines imposed by authorities if found in breach of Victorian OHS law. This may have been via some Directors & Officers Liability, Management Liability or even Statutory Liability policies. From 22 September 2022, this will no longer be allowed. The extension of time ensures that current contractual arrangements can expire or be unwound. Now a business cannot avoid penalties for offences under OHS laws.
Any company that enters, offers, or holds such a contract or indemnity will attract penalties of up to $54,522 for individuals and $272,610 for businesses.
Further information about these changes and other amendments can be found here: