Western Australia finished its draft for Work Health and Safety (WHS) legislation for all industries. The legislative document "Introduction into Parliament" will be launched this year but the timing of release will hinge on the progress of the finalisation of its succeeding legislation for the mining industry.
WorkSafe Australia warned employers to check its employees' High Risk Work Licenses after rampant reports of incidences of fake licenses that were being issued in New South Wales. WorkSafe Commissioner in Western Australia Lex McCulloch emphasized that High Risk Work Licences are only allowed to be granted to workers who underwent appropriate training.
Work Cover Queensland and the Australian government have plans to change the definition of "worker" as used in workplace health and safety laws. The plan was initiated to be consistent with that of the proper connotation used by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). The importance of the employer-employee relationship is re-emphasised likewise in the proposed definition change.
The Fair Work Commission has pushed employers in the hospitality and retail sectors to initiate changes in the penalty rates system. The Commission though tried to convince the employers to adopt a more flexible change in the policies. The plan is to incorporate a new scheme of awards system into the Fair Work Act. Through the proposed amendment, it shall be mandatory for employers to consider overtime pay, penalty rates, public holiday pay and shift loadings, in setting the merit rates and conditions. This was greatly opposed by the business groups and the employers gave violent reactions, saying that loosening up on penalty rates would undercut ongoing legal cases for changing the penalty rates system.