Model OHS Act
Today’s WR Ministerial Council meeting has signed-off on a new model OHS law with only WA holding out. At presstime, Dep PM & WR Minister Julia Gillard said most states and territories “have agreed to enact the agreed model OHS Act”, while WA has agreed to continue to aim for national harmonisation of OHS laws
The draft model OHS Act (see Rudd lays down law on workplace safety: OHN comment) will now proceed to its next stage after the public comment period closed on Monday Nov 9.
The much anticipated draft Model OHS laws are expected to be released for public comment next week reflecting the decision of the workplace Relations Ministerial Council on the recommendations of the National OHS Review Panel.
The new OHS regime is set to entrench the role of unions in OHS as a compromise to unions being denied the right to prosecute which they currently enjoy in NSW and will from next month obtain in the ACT.
Aust lags self-imposed national targets to cut workplace deaths and injuries, says the ACTU. Now was not the time to squander Aust’s rare chance to improve worker protection when deciding on new uniform OHS laws, the peak union body said.
Employees and their bargaining agents have more power in the workplace, while the tribunal and agencies under Fair Work Australia ? including the Fair Work Ombudsman ? have greater roles and responsibilities. The Fair Work reforms significantly alter the future for workplace relationships more generally. Transition to this new regime is complex.