Sound and robust Work Health & Safety (WHS) and workers’ compensation practices are crucial for a successful business.

Our shared vision driving this work is to see a reduction in the incidence of work-related death, injury and disease in Australian workplaces.

It is important for business to have sustainable, productive workplaces for employers and employees, for their clients and customers. Furthermore, the community expects it.

Our Policy Principles:

The Australian Chamber encourages the use of funding from employer Workers’ Compensation premiums for WHS outcomes rather than public health or environmental outcomes.

Implement small business advisers with experience in WHS matters to assist other small businesses to put into practice any requirements of the model Work Health and Safety package or the Safe Work Australia Australian Strategy.

Inspire non-regulatory approaches to improve WHS whilst reducing the overall regulatory and compliance burden on business.

Limit the over reach and cross agency duplication into WHS areas.

Actively support the tripartite structure under Safe Work Australia to further progress the national harmonisation of Work Health and Safety laws and implementation across Australia.

Support the introduction of industry liaison officer roles within the Department of Employment and Safe Work Australia to work with industry and all relevant state and territory jurisdictions on WHS issues to ensure consistency in policy advice.

Encourage governments to consult with the Australian Chamber as the most representative employer association and partner with the Chamber and its members to ensure there is consistent messaging from regulators, advisors and industry.

#PART&PARCEL - Working with small biz; it’s in the delivery

The Australian work health and safety regulatory environment is complex and not appropriately scaled to the realities of our small businesses

The Australian Chamber and our members consistently inform regulatory agencies that a “one-size-fits-all’ approach in regards to WHS regulation or implementation does not, and is not working. Regulation design and delivery is ignoring the unique needs and characteristics of small businesses.

We have launched the #PART&PARCEL – Working with small biz; it’s in the delivery campaign to draw attention to the fact that outputs from government agencies are not fit for purpose for small business.

We want them to know that it is not so much the regulations themselves, but the ability of SME owners and managers to identify and translate regulation into your own context and then, assistance in implementing it.

Support for SMEs should not be through an avalanche of additional guidance materials, or shortened or ‘dumbed down’ documents.

National Body Memberships

Due to the technical and process orientated nature of this policy area, members of the WHS & WC Committee play an integral role in influencing direction, content and impact of WHS and WC policy in Australia.

Our Members engaged in this space help us to:

  • examine and provide comment on work health and safety & workers’ compensation legislation and other materials including: Codes of Practice, Guidance Materials, Handbooks, Information Sheets and Standards as they are being developed or reviewed by the relevant governing body;
  • identify issues of concern for Australian business and industry, relevant to the Committee’s scope;
  • shape the Chamber’s policy agenda as being representative of the Australian business community;
  • be an avenue for information exchange, discussion, and consultation on relevant Australian Chamber policy positions and priorities;
  • inform General Council of key policy objectives and seek endorsement of policy positions; and
  • participate in the Chamber’s political engagement and advocacy activities as appropriate.
The Australian Chamber has a dedicated Work Health and Safety (WHS) & Workers’ Compensation (WC) policy portfolio. The Australian Chamber currently represents employers on a number of relevant national bodies including:

Safe Work Australia;

Standards Australia;

Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance;

National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS); and

Building, Demolition and Construction Sectors Committee (ASEA).

Workers’ Compensation

For most businesses, a workers’ compensation claim may only occur once every several years. For many employers, they pay their premium annually and have no further contact or relationship with their insurer or the workers’ compensation system.

Our Members increasingly report employer difficulties with understanding the schemes, premium pricing, roles and responsibilities, and managing injuries (including ‘stress’ claims).

The Australian Chamber as a member of SWA represents employers’ views in relation to the development and review of national workers’ compensation policy matters. Australian Chamber Members through our involvement in SWA can access the latest workers’ compensation data, influence research projects, review reports prior to publication and receive detailed jurisdictional updates on activities.

Mental Health in the Workplace

The Australian Chamber is committed to a strong economy that fosters safe, healthy and productive organisations.

Our Australian Chamber networks, through initiatives such as the HeadsUp program, have consistently supported efforts to raise community awareness and help address stigma associated with mental ill-health.

The Australian Chamber is a member of the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance and supports the HeadsUp initiative.

Asbestos Awareness and Management

The Australian Chamber and its network continue to be involved in asbestos awareness and management, recognising the deadly legacy of asbestos in Australia’s built environment. The Australian Chamber participated in the development and review of the model WHS legislative package including the asbestos regulation, codes and information sheets. 

 

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