What are your Workplace Health and Safety obligations in regards to your employee’s mental health and wellbeing? New WHS mental health laws have come into play. Read more about it in this blog post.
From 1st April 2023, employers have an obligation to manage psychological risks in the workplace under the Work Health and Safety (Psychosocial Risks) Amendment Regulation 2022.
Changes to the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011, introduced Division 11, Psychosocial Risks. This new division aims to address the growing concern of psychosocial risks in the workplace and create a safer and healthier work environment for employees. It places specific obligations on employers to manage psychosocial risks effectively and provides employees with access to information, training, and support.
Under these new WHS mental health laws, Employers must take this new division seriously and ensure that they comply with the new obligations to create a safer and healthier workplace for their employees. In this blog, we will discuss the new division and its impact on the workplace.
What are Psychosocial risks?
Psychosocial risks refer to factors in the workplace that can negatively impact an employee’s mental health and well-being. These factors can include bullying, harassment, work-related stress, violence, and other similar issues. The new division aims to address these risks by introducing specific obligations for employers to manage them.
What is your obligation under the new WHS mental health laws?
The primary obligation for employers under the new WHS mental health laws is to identify, assess, and manage the psychosocial risks in their workplace. This includes developing a risk management plan that addresses the identified risks and implementing control measures to mitigate them. Employers must also consult with their employees and health and safety representatives when identifying and managing these risks.
The new division also introduces specific obligations for employers to prevent workplace bullying. This includes implementing policies and procedures to prevent and manage bullying, training employees and managers on how to prevent and manage bullying and investigating and responding to reports of bullying in a timely and effective manner.
Another key aspect of the new division is the requirement for employers to provide employees with information, instruction, and training on the psychosocial risks in the workplace. This includes providing information on how to identify and manage these risks, as well as training on how to prevent and manage workplace bullying.
The new division also requires employers to provide support to employees who have been affected by psychosocial risks in the workplace. This includes providing access to counselling services, reasonable adjustments to work arrangements, and any other support that may be necessary to assist the employee in their recovery.
How will these new WHS mental health laws impact you?
The introduction of the new division is a significant step towards creating a safer and healthier work environment for employees. It recognises the importance of addressing psychosocial risks in the workplace and places specific obligations on employers to manage these risks effectively.
The impact of the new division on the workplace will be significant. Employers will need to review their current policies and procedures and develop new ones to ensure compliance with the new requirements. They will also need to provide training to employees and managers on the new obligations and implement new procedures to manage psychosocial risks.
Employees will benefit from the new division as it will create a safer and healthier work environment. They will have access to information, training, and support to help them manage the psychosocial risks in their workplace. This will also help to reduce the incidence of workplace bullying, which can have a significant impact on an employee’s mental health and well-being.
Further information about the new legislation can be found here.
If you are interested in reviewing your company’s workplace health and safety obligations, get in touch with our Gold Coast Safety team who can assist with a new policy which covers the changes and guidance on your obligations. Book a free consultation or send us an email.