WorkSafe Victoria has published the Industry Standard, Elevating Work Platforms. The industry standard was developed with representatives from industry associations, unions and WorkSafe Victoria. It provides practical advice on the selection and safe use of EWPs, incorporating the latest technologies and initiatives that help the industry control the hazards and risks commonly associated with EWPs. Download your copy of the EWP Industry Standard or email [email protected] to request a copy (A5 size) & provide your mailing address. For more information, call our Safety Team on 03 9411 4555.
This guidance note for Safe use of crane lifted work boxes will replace a previously issued safety alert titled ‘Using workboxes to lift personnel - Braking and operational requirements for cranes’. Work boxes are personnel-carrying devices designed to be lifted by a crane for the purpose of providing an elevated working area. This document provides guidance to enable duty holders to develop a safe system of work for tasks where it is necessary to lift personnel by using a crane-lifted work box. For more information, call our Safety Team on 03 9411 4555.
The Fair Work Act has recently been amended to include new employment rules for casual employees. The amendments include a definition of casual employment, pathway for casual employees to convert to full-time or part-time employment and a requirement to provide the Casual Employment Information Statement. We have created a Fact Sheet that outlines those changes. As a result of those changes, we suggest that you provide your casual employees with the Casual Information Statement, review your existing terms of casual engagement and consider whether you need to offer full-time or part-time employment. If you have further questions about engaging casual employees, please contact our Employment and Industrial Relations team on 03 9411 4555.
The Fair Work Commission has recently handed down its decision about the application of distant work provisions in the Building and Construction General on-site Award 2020 (Award). The Commission, in its decision to vary the Award, stated that “the proposed variation in necessary to achieve the modern awards objective in s 134(1) of the Fair Work Act 2009. It is fairer and more relevant because it resolves the existing double compensation problem and appropriately compensates employees who actually travel long distances to a work site, and not just those who cross an arbitrary radial boundary.” Accordingly, clause 26.4(a) of the Award was amended as follows:
26.4 Distant work payment
(a) If an employee is required to travel to a construction site that is:
(i) not located in a metropolitan radial area in which the employee’s usual place of residence is located; and
(ii) more than 50 kms by road from the employee’s usual place of residence;
the employee will be entitled to the distant work payment in paragraph (b) instead of the allowance in clause 25.1.
This means that an employee who is required to travel more than 50km by road to a construction site that is located outside a metropolitan area of the employee’s usual place of residence will be entitled to distant travel payment from when they leave their usual place of residence as opposed to when they cross the 50km radial boundary. The distant work payment is payment for the time outside ordinary working hours spent in travel (paid at the ordinary time hourly rate) and any expenses necessarily and reasonably incurred in such travel ($0.47 per km where the employee uses their own vehicle). Employees who are in receipt of distant travel payment will not receive the daily fares and travel allowance.
For more information about the Award and/or how it relates to your specific Enterprise Agreement, please call our Employment and Industrial Relations Team on 03 9411 4555.
We remind members of their obligations to provide new employees with a Standard choice form. This obligation arose as a result of the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992 being amended last year to allow employees covered under enterprise agreements and workplace determinations to elect the fund employers pay their super contributions into. For more information about the choice of fund legislation and its interactions with enterprise agreements, please refer to the ATO’s website or call our Employment and Industrial Relations team on 03 9411 4555.
The Government released on 8 April ‘A Roadmap for Respect: Preventing and Addressing Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces’. This Roadmap responds to the [email protected] report prepared by the Australian Human Rights Commission. The Government’s response included commitments to reviewing the Fair Work Act to ensure and clarify that sexual harassment is expressly prohibited, clarifying that a ‘stop bullying order’ is available in the context of sexual harassment, amending the definition of serious misconduct and s387 of the FW Act to clarify that sexual harassment can amount to a valid reason for dismissal when determining whether a dismissal was harsh, unjust or unreasonable. MBA National Office will continue to monitor the roll-out of the Government’s commitments. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Employment and Industrial Relations team on 03 9411 4555.
The Andrews Government is running a campaign on digital and social platforms reminding employers of the importance of keeping vulnerable young workers safe. The campaign features young workers being confronted with questions about their willingness to ignore health and safety concerns if it means they can secure a job. Out of 23 young workers, 21 said they would work without training, accept bullying and harassment as part of the job, and accept unsafe working conditions to secure employment. Employers have a responsibility to ensure every worker is safe. This means the employees need to be correctly trained and empowered to speak up if they have concerns or are unsure how to complete a task safely. For more information, visit WorkSafe’s website or call our Safety Team on 03 9411 4555.