Nadine Saadi
Nadine Saadi, Co-founder at Smeosh

Regulatory and compliance

Do you know where your business stands with the new laws?

The new WHS legislation has gotten many businesses rethinking their systems and practices. Australian SMEs seem to be concerned as the implications can be catastrophic for their business. Owners and managers can find themselves personally liable. I'd love to hear your thoughts about the new WHS legislation. 

If you’d like to know what your duties and potential penalties are, and learn custom information relevant to your state and industry, you can go to www.smeosh.com to take a short 2 minute quiz. I am developing a mobile and tablet app solution that helps SMEs stay compliant to keep safe and avoid penalties. If you are interested in using Smeosh when it is out on the App store and Google Play, you may register your interest once you have completed the quiz.

Thanks!

User
Loading

2 Answers

Jacob Ross

Jacob Ross , Authorised Representative at Affinity Insurance Services Pty Ltd

Hi Nadine,

This is a great question and I'll be sure to take your quiz.

What most SME Business owners in Australia do not know is that they can insure against fines and penalties for breaches of the laws. (see case Hillman v Ferro Con and Paolo Maione).

It is of course incredibly important to have the documentation in place after all avoiding an incident altogether is much better than insurance, but, what if an employee breaches the laws leaving the director and the company exposed? The documentation may reduce the penalty, but in the end they may still have a fine to pay simply because their company (or its representative) broke the law, not because they did it intentionally.

This insurance is called Statutory Liability Insurance and is available as either a standalone insurance policy or it can be included as an extension within a management liability insurance policy.

This cover is not available in most Business Packages (QBE is the only exception I am aware of) and isnt available from most direct insurers, SME Business owners can talk about this type of cover and their business through an insurance broker.

Nadine Saadi

Nadine Saadi , Co-founder at Smeosh

Hi Jacob, Thanks for your response. To be honest, even I didn't know of insurance against WHS fines. It would make sense though, if we can insure against man... read more
Hi Jacob, Thanks for your response. To be honest, even I didn't know of insurance against WHS fines. It would make sense though, if we can insure against many other things in our lives, why not WHS as well. Of course, as you said, safety comes first, and all we're trying to do with the Smeosh app is make it easy enough for the average the SME owner/manager to make WHS second nature to them. Would you know how much the cover you're speaking about costs for an average SME? I'd be interested to know how viable that option is to them. I am based in South Australia and we've been on a 12 month transition period throughout 2013. It'll be interesting to see how SME's will be affected by the new laws and regulations when they come into effect next year. Nadine
Nadine Saadi

Nadine Saadi , Co-founder at Smeosh

Obviously I don't know how to use the return key! Sorry :|
Obviously I don't know how to use the return key! Sorry :|
View all replies
User
Cathal Uniacke

Cathal Uniacke , Principal OHS Consultant at Custodian Safety Services

Hi Guys, Just to play the role of the devils advocate here. I'm all for the development and prosperity of small business as know it's the heartbeat of the Australian economy and as as a small business owner myself based in Victoria know how valuable piece of mind is but how ethical do you think Statutory Liability cover is? Is the fact that businesses can now insure themselves against the risk of being fined for breeches in the WHS Acts going to mean they will be less likely to invest in a safer workplace and more likely to take risks with regards to OHS knowing the penalties for breaking the law (possibly resulting in serious worker injury) can be insured? Your thoughts?

User