ASK RENATA

‘We have recently had a new HSR voted in who’s received HSR Initial training previously. Does the HSR require a refresh course of some sort? What length of time does the training cover?’

Page 52 of WorkSafe Victoria’s excellent Employee Representation Guide has this to say:

HSR training Initial and Refresher OHS Training

To exercise powers and rights as an HSR effectively, it is important that HSRs (and if applicable, any dHSR) receive training. This will provide HSRs with appropriate skills, knowledge and confidence to represent the members of their DWG.

HSRs have an entitlement to attend (5 day) initial training, and (1 day) refresher training at least once every year, if they request to do so, however it is not compulsory for HSRs to be trained. WorkSafe actively encourages HSRs to take up their training entitlements.

Read more about HSRs’ right to training on our webpage

Page 57 of the Employee Representation Guide goes on to advise...

Is an HSR (or dHSR) entitled to attend another initial training course after being re-elected in the same DWG?

No, not generally. Every HSR (and dHSR) has only one entitlement for initial training. If the HSR, or deputy, is re-elected in the same DWG and has already participated in an initial training course, they do not generally have an entitlement to time off work with pay to attend a further initial training course.

However, in a situation where the nature of an HSRs role or workplace changes substantially, there may be an entitlement to attend another initial training course if appropriate. The absence of an entitlement does not prevent an employer who recognises the benefit of HSRs receiving training from allowing them to attend additional courses. Section 67 of the Act

Are there circumstances in which an HSR (or DHSR) can attend initial training a second time?

Yes. If an HSR is elected in another DWG, for example an HSR who changes employer and is then elected HSR by a new DWG, they will be entitled to time off work with pay to attend a further initial training course, if the HSR chooses to, and this initial training course is appropriate.

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