Labour hire hosts need to be aware of the recent changes to their workplace health and safety obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act. The changes took effect from 22 March 2022.
This means that hosts now have the same health and safety responsibilities to labour hire workers as to their direct employees.
It is important to note that providers still have their OHS duties to workers – these are not reduced by these clearer responsibilities for hosts.
What are the changes?
The definition of ‘employer’ and ‘employee’ has been extended so that labour hire workers are now considered employees of both the host and provider across the board.
Previously, hosts had some obligations to labour hire workers, but there were gaps which have now been closed.
The new duties that hosts have to labour hire workers include:
- monitoring their health
- providing information about health and safety
- keeping records relating to their health and safety
- consulting with them when identifying OHS risks
As well, hosts may be guilty of an indictable offence if they discriminate against a labour hire worker on the basis that the worker does specific things permitted by the OHS Act.
While these changes are primarily directed at hosts, they will require better communication and cooperation by host and provider to ensure the safety and health of labour hire workers.
Visit the WorkSafe website for more information about this change, and about OHS rights and responsibilities.