What laws are there about employers having to consult with employees?

Part 4 of the OHS Act 2004 deals with the ‘duty of employers to consult’. The OHS Regulations 2007 also has a section in Part 2 about ‘How to involve HSRs in consultation.’ There are also 2 handbook guides produced by Worksafe Victoria that provide both employers and employees with guidance on how to consult on OHS issues.

An employer must consult on the following:

  • Identifying/ assessing hazards and risks in the workplace.
  • Making decisions about the measures to be taken to control OHS risks in the workplace.
  • Making decisions about the adequacy of facilities for the welfare of employees.
  • Making decisions about the following:
    • resolving OHS issues at a workplace under an employers control
    • consulting with employees if the employer
    • monitoring the health of employees of the employer and the conditions of the workplace
    • providing information and training to employees of the employer.
  • Determining the membership of any health and safety committee
  • Proposing changes, that may affect the health or safety of employees of the employer to:
  • a workplace under the employers management and control
  • the plant, substances or other things used at such a workplace
  • the conduct of the work performed at such a workplace.

They also must consult when the regulations identify the need for consultation.