Blog

Law changes open up your workplace to third parties

Kayla Scott

15 Sep 2020

Topics

  • Business Law
  • Employment Law

Who can come onto your worksite or workplace? What can they do whilst there? There have been recent amendments made to the Work, Health and Safety Act 2011 (ACT) that may impact you. Kayla Scott explains what these amendments are and how they may affect you and your business.

As of 9 September 2020, Work, Health and Safety Act 2011 (ACT) (“the Act”) now has sections that allow people to enter worksites. These sections effectively allow a person who holds a WHS entry permit to take photos or recordings (video or audio) when investigating a suspect breach of the Act, except in the circumstance where it could be in contravention of another law. Extracts of these sections are set out below:

118      Rights that may be exercised while at workplace

(da)      take photographs, films or audio, video or other recordings relevant to the suspected contravention.

118A   Notice of exercise of right under s 118 (1) (da)

(1)        This section applies in relation to the exercise of a right under section 118 (1) (da) by a WHS entry permit-holder.

(2)        The WHS entry permit-holder must give notice to the relevant person conducting a business or undertaking about the exercise of the right

(a)        if, at the time the WHS entry permit-holder enters the workplace under this division, the WHS entry permit-holder intends to exercise the right in relation to the suspected contravention of this Act as soon as reasonably practicable after entering the workplace; and

(b)        if, while at a workplace under this division, the WHS entry permit-holder forms the intention to exercise, or has exercised, the right in relation to another contravention of this Act in the circumstances mentioned in section 118 (5) as soon as reasonably practicable after forming that intention or exercising the right.

If you are suspected of contravening the Act, this means union officials/WHS permit holders are granted rights to inspect and record your workplace. It comes highly recommended that you refresh your memory on your Workplace, Health and Safety rights to ensure you are not in contravention of the Act.

How can we help?

If you would like further information navigating the changes to the Act, or other Employment Law needs, please do not hesitate to contact our Business Services team on 02 6285 8000 or by email.