An employer dismissed a health and safety representative through a "sham" redundancy after it accused him of "running off" to complain to a safety regulator and "unlawfully holding meetings" on the health risks posed by bushfire smoke, the Federal Court has ruled.
With the release of the national "roadmap" out of coronavirus restrictions, a senior WHS lawyer has urged employers to consult with workers and HSRs, identify COVID-19 risk factors unique to their business, and implement "pandemic plans" for positive diagnoses and transitioning workers back to remote work if the situation deteriorates.
Employers planning to introduce new safety or health-monitoring procedures are required to consult with health and safety representatives and workers on the issue of gendered violence, and must not wait for formal reports of gendered violence incidents before addressing the matter, new guidelines warn.
A regulator has been formally asked to investigate claims that Deliveroo committed the serious WHS offence of discriminatory conduct, in allegedly failing to allocate jobs to a worker because of his involvement in negotiations to set up work groups and elect health and safety representatives.
The functions of elected health and safety representatives do not include an express power to attend compulsory examinations conducted by regulatory inspectors and question attendees, a superior court has ruled in a fatality case.
Workplace health and safety representatives are being encouraged to direct the cessation of "all non-critical outdoor work" where the air quality is classified as "very poor" or worse from bushfire smoke.