Duties to labour hire workers under the OHS Act

Labour hire provider and host employer duties to labour hire workers under the OHS Act before 22 March 2022, and their duties to labour hire workers after 22 March 2022.

Overview

From 22 March 2022, changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act) extend the definitions of 'employer' and 'employee' to ensure labour hire workers are considered employees of their host employer for the purposes of the OHS Act.

From 22 March 2022, host employers owe the same duties towards labour hire workers as they do towards their direct employees.

From 22 March 2022, changes to the OHS Act also include a new duty for labour hire providers and host employers to consult, cooperate and coordinate activities with each other where they share OHS duties to labour hire workers.

The following information shows labour hire provider and host employer duties to labour hire workers under the OHS Act before 22 March 2022, and their duties to labour hire workers after 22 March 2022.

Section 21 of the OHS Act

Provide and maintain a working environment that is safe and without risks to health, so far as is reasonably practicable

Before 22 March 2022

  • Labour hire provider has duties
  • Host employer has duties

From 22 March 2022

  • Labour hire provider has duties
  • Host employer has duties

Section 22(1)(a) of the OHS Act

Monitor the health of employees, so far as is reasonably practicable

Before 22 March 2022

  • Labour hire provider has duties
  • Host employer does not have duties

From 22 March 2022

  • Labour hire provider has duties
  • Host employer has duties

Section 22(1)(b) of the OHS Act

Monitor conditions at any workplace under the employer's management and control, so far as is reasonably practicable

Before 22 March 2022

  • Labour hire provider has duties in relation to the provider's workplace
  • Host employer has duties

From 22 March 2022

  • Labour hire provider has duties in relation to the provider's workplace
  • Host employer has duties

Section 22(1)(c) of the OHS Act

Provide information to employees about occupational health and safety, including in other languages as appropriate, so far as is reasonably practicable

Before 22 March 2022

  • Labour hire provider has duties
  • Host employer does not have duties, although the host may already provide this information

From 22 March 2022

  • Labour hire provider has duties
  • Host employer has duties

Section 22(2)(a) of the OHS Act

Keep information and records relating to health and safety of employees, so far as is reasonably practicable

Before 22 March 2022

  • Labour hire provider has duties
  • Host employer does not have duties

From 22 March 2022

  • Labour hire provider has duties
  • Host employer has duties

Section 22(2)(b) of the OHS Act

Employ or engage persons suitably qualified to provide advice on health and safety of employees, so far as is reasonably practicable

Before 22 March 2022

  • Labour hire provider has duties
  • Host employer does not have duties, although the host may already engage such a person

From 22 March 2022

  • Labour hire provider has duties
  • Host employer has duties

Section 23 of the OHS Act

Ensure persons other than employees are not exposed to risks to their health, so far as is reasonably practicable

Before 22 March 2022

  • Labour hire provider does not have duties
  • Host employer has duties

From 22 March 2022

  • Labour hire provider does not have duties
  • Host employer has duties

Section 26 of the OHS Act

Ensure that a workplace and means of entering and exiting the workplace are safe and without risks to health, so far as is reasonably practicable

Before 22 March 2022

  • Labour hire provider has duties in relation to the provider's workplace
  • Host employer has duties

From 22 March 2022

  • Labour hire provider has duties in relation to the provider's workplace
  • Host employer has duties

Section 35 of the OHS Act

Consult with employees when doing certain things relating to occupational health and safety, so far as is reasonably practicable

Before 22 March 2022

  • Labour hire provider has duties
  • Host employer does not have duties

From 22 March 2022

  • Labour hire provider has duties
  • Host employer has duties

Section 35A of the OHS Act

Labour hire providers and host employers who have duties towards labour hire workers must, so far as is reasonably practicable, consult, cooperate and coordinate activities with other people who have a duty to the same worker

New duty from 22 March 2022

  • Labour hire provider has duties
  • Host employer has duties

Section 43 of the OHS Act

Do everything reasonable to ensure negotiations on the establishment of a designated work group within 14 days after receiving a request from an employee

Before 22 March 2022

  • Labour hire provider has duties
  • Host employer does not have duties

From 22 March 2022

  • Labour hire provider has duties
  • Host employer has duties

Section 76 of the OHS Act

Employer (or prospective employer) is guilty of an indictable offence if they discriminate against an employee (or prospective employee) on the basis that the employee does specific things permitted by the OHS Act

Before 22 March 2022

  • Labour hire provider has duties
  • Host employer does not have duties

From 22 March 2022

  • Labour hire provider has duties
  • Host employer has duties