This week, significant workplace safety and worker rights laws were passed in Federal Parliament, introducing an industrial manslaughter offence, and offering better support for workers with work-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Additionally, the legislation addresses employers acting against workers affected by family violence, protects redundancy payments, and makes intentional wage theft a criminal offense.
To secure support for the laws, the Feds struck a deal with crossbench senators which involved splitting the legislation to enable a vote on key provisions, industrial manslaughter, presumptive workers' compensation for specific professions, and wage theft.
The ACTU has applauded what is sees as positive steps for labour-hire workers, despite the usual protests from employer groups citing concerns about 'red tape’ and ‘increased costs to business.’
The Federal Government has also committed to reviewing the Comcare scheme and establishing guidelines for independent medical assessments to improve outcomes for injured workers.
Subscribers may also be aware of the push for ‘right to disconnect’ laws, protecting workers from unreasonable contact from bosses, outside of normal working hours.