Dear Members,

Recently, our team put forward Master Builders Victoria’s formal submission in response to the State Government’s Workplace Manslaughter Consultation Paper.

Our carefully researched and considered document is based on information provided via consultations with our members to ensure that Master Builders Victoria can articulate the safety, legal and practical implications of the proposed legislation.

This document has now been submitted to Government and I encourage you to take the time to read our response to the proposed legislative changes by clicking here.

We take our role advising our members on how to meet their workplace obligations and keep their workplaces and workers safe, very seriously. Our organisation and our members know that any workplace death is one too many.

In our submission, we cover the key negotiable legal issues identified in the draft legislation and offer our recommendations for sensible and appropriate responses.

Among those issues are significant proposals around:

The exclusion of employees from the legislation. We believe current workplace safety laws in Victoria are rightfully strong and ensure that Victorian employers and employees have a shared responsibility for safety by working together. As such it is vital that employees are not excluded from prosecution for the offence.

Organisational liability. Employers who have provided a safe working environment should not be liable.

Disproportionate impact on small and family businesses. Small businesses are different. They do not have complex structures or huge budgets and oftentimes directors are family members and family and friends working side by side. Small organisations should be exempt from organisational liability.

Importantly, our submission includes first-hand and personal feedback from many of our members.

One member noted that “effectively, any employee can claim ‘all care no responsibility'".

Another member observed, “Everyone has a duty of care, not just the boss or manager, or company director!”

To those members who have already contributed to our research and our discussions in helping us draft this submission, we sincerely thank you.

To those members who have not yet responded, please let us know what you think about this potentially industry transforming legislation. 

You can send your feedback to policy@mbav.com.au.

We know this issue is a major concern across our sector and we need to hear your voices.

The next Workplace Manslaughter Taskforce meeting will be held on Thursday 20 June 2019 where all submissions by interested parties will be reviewed and discussed.

I want to assure you that the interests of our members remain paramount to our campaign for a fair and just outcome for all, and I will continue to update you as regularly as possible.

 --Rebecca Casson (ceo@mbav.com.au)