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.
- Authorised Representative at Affinity Insurance Services Pty Ltd
- 101 Victoria St
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.
- Principal OHS Consultant at Custodian Safety Services
- Little Lonsdale St
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?