Media Release 27 November 2019

Workplace manslaughter law a missed opportunity

A statement from: Mark Stone AM, Chief Executive, Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Stephen Sheridan, Chief Executive Officer, Victorian Farmers Federation; Fiona Nield, Executive Director Victoria, Housing Industry Association; Rebecca Casson, Chief Executive Officer, Master Builders Association of Victoria; Tim Piper, Head Victoria, Australian Industry Group

Any workplace death is one too many.

Employers have worked hard with the Government, opposition and cross bench, trying to ensure that the workplace manslaughter law is fair and equitable and delivers improved workplace safety outcomes.

We proposed sound and workable improvements to the legislation that would have enhanced safety outcomes and fairness.

For example, we have consistently argued for the law to apply equally to everyone in the workplace, not just organisations and senior officers. Everyone in every workplace has the power to improve safety standards. Including employees in this legislation would only improve safety outcomes.

We are disappointed that no amendments were adopted by the Parliament.

As a result, we consider the legislation may not achieve improved safety outcomes and could have impacts on investment and jobs. We will continue to seek changes to this law to make it better.

We also look forward to more support for employers to help them and improve workplace safety.

We thank our members for their input and support in the development of this legislation and for their commitment to providing the safest possible workplaces.

We will continue working closely with WorkSafe Victoria and Victorian businesses to guide employers on how to prepare for this law.

Our organisations’ joint efforts to see the necessary changes to this legislation will continue.

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