On 14 June 2018, Safe Work Australia released its much-anticipated national guidance material on work-related psychological health and safety.
The Safe Work Australia guidance material provides a systematic and practical approach to managing work-related psychological injury. This will help employers meet their obligations under work health and safety or workers' compensation laws in Australia. In doing so, the guidance material outlines the following elements to methodically and comprehensively ensure the psychological health and safety of workers:
- Prevent harm by identifying and assessing work related hazards and risks and implementing effective control measures to eliminate or minimise those risks.
- Intervene early with support and assistance for individuals who show signs of vulnerability to help minimise the potential severity of work-related psychological injuries.
- Support recovery by providing access to treatment and rehabilitation services, facilitating sustainable recovery at work or return to work, addressing any remaining work-related psychological hazards and reviewing the effectiveness of control measures.
For an employer, managing employees who are experiencing a mental health condition in the workplace can be challenging. Employers may be uncertain about their legal rights and responsibilities, which can lead to inaction. Similarly, employers may not understand or appreciate their duties concerning employees' (mental) health at work. The guidance material provides employers with much needed clarity about how to navigate this complex area of law.
Cooper Grace Ward is a leading Australian law firm based in Brisbane.
This publication is for information only and is not legal advice. You should obtain advice that is specific to your circumstances and not rely on this publication as legal advice. If there are any issues you would like us to advise you on arising from this publication, please contact Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers.