Specifically, this article focused on the amendments relating to
the new requirement for WHS permit holders to provide at least 24
hours' written notice before entering a workplace. Further, the
article outlined increases to fines and penalties.
Amendments to WHS Act in Queensland are now in
On 16 May 2014, the following amendments to the WHS Act (Qld)
came into effect:
The power of health and safety representatives to direct
workers to cease unsafe work is no longer in effect. Workers,
however, still maintain the right to cease unsafe
Health and safety representatives will now have the power to
issue provisional improvement notices.
Persons conducting a business or undertaking are no longer
required to provide a list of health and safety representatives to
the WHS regulator. However, a current list of health and
safety representatives must be displayed in the
WHS permit holders are now required to give at least 24
hours', but not more than 14 days' notice that
they are entering the workplace to investigate a suspected
Penalties have now increased to $20,000 for
failure to comply with any WHS permit conditions.
WHS permit holders are now able to be
penalised for failing to comply with the WHS permit
Any person assisting a health and safety
representative is required to give at least 24 hours',
but not more than 14 days' notice that they are accessing the
Codes of practice in Queensland are now able to be
adopted, varied or revoked without national
Importantly, the loophole which allowed WHS permit holders to
gain access to workplaces without notice has now been closed in
Queensland. These amendments will give back control of workplaces
Long experience representing many of Australia's leading employers has taught us that in employment litigation the identity of an employee's representative is a major factor in how employee litigation runs.
Australian employees receive certain entitlements (such as annual leave and superannuation) where contractors do not.
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