Client Alert

Proposed Workplace Safety Legislation and Other Matters Amendment Bill 2021

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Worksafe have advised that the proposed Workplace Safety Legislation and Other Matters Amendment Bill 2021 (the Bill) has been second read in Parliament on Thursday, 2 December 2021.

These proposed amendments are designed to prevent and respond to workplace safety incidents, improve outcomes for injured workers and their families, and increase WorkSafe’s ability to enhance scheme operations.

The proposed Bill will make a number of amendments to the Accident Compensation Act 1985 (AC Act), the Dangerous Goods Act 1985 (DG Act), the Equipment (Public Safety) Act 1994 (EPS Act), the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act) and the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (WIRC Act) to:

  • improve compensation arrangements for workers with silicosis and similar occupational diseases and deliver on aspects of the Government’s silica action plan
  • amend the requirements relating to the issuing of prohibition notices to better capture serious risk activities
  • include a broader range of matters to be notifiable incidents
  • improve entitlements for the families of deceased workers
  • clarify that funds collected from infringement notices are to be paid into the WorkCover fund
  • make technical and procedural amendments to the WIRC Act and AC Act.
  • Emergency Management Victoria is leading proposed amendments to the Firefighters' Presumptive Rights Compensation and Fire Services Legislation Amendment (Reform) Act 2019 (FPRC Act) to:
  • extend presumptive rights coverage under to Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) and Country Fire Authority (CFA) vehicle and equipment maintenance employees
  • change the method for calculating eligibility qualifying periods to count a partial year of service as a full year of service
  • allow periods of service as an FRV, CFA or forest firefighter or as a vehicle and equipment maintenance employee to be combined.

WorkSafe expects the new requirements to come into effect in mid-2022. Prior to commencement, WorkSafe will update agents regularly and support them to manage changes.

The proposed Bill also makes amendments to the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996 and the Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Act 2014. Further information is available via the Victorian Legislation website.

You can read the Victorian Government’s media release about the announcement here and information is also available for you to share about the proposed Bill on WorkSafe’s website.

If you would like to learn more or have any questions, please contact your Worker’s Compensation broker at Mercer Marsh Benefits or contact us here.

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