Infringement notices scheme

Information on infringement notices and the various ways to resolve them.

Infringement notices webinar

To support the introduction of the infringement notices scheme on 31 July 2021, WorkSafe held an educational webinar to ensure key stakeholders, including employer and employee representatives and the Victorian community, are informed about the scheme, what it means for them and where to get more information.

If you missed out on the day, you can catch-up by watching the video.

Worksafe infringement notices

A new tool for a safer Victoria.

Background

As Victoria's health and safety regulator, WorkSafe is responsible for ensuring that duty holders comply with their obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act) and Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (OHS Regulations).

The Victorian Government made an election commitment to introduce infringement notices for certain offences under the OHS Act and OHS Regulations.

The scheme will expand the suite of compliance and enforcement tools already available to WorkSafe including:

  • providing information and guidance
  • issuing improvement notices, prohibition notices and directions to remedy contraventions and risks to health and safety
  • seeking injunctions for non-compliance with notices
  • prosecution for contraventions of occupational health and safety laws
  • issuing letters of warning and letters of caution
  • accepting enforceable undertakings in connection with alleged contraventions of occupational health and safety laws

It will also strengthen WorkSafe's compliance and enforcement capability and act as an additional deterrent to non-compliance.

Importantly, for duty holders, if you are already complying with your occupational health and safety duties, you won't need to do anything differently. The scheme is an additional enforcement tool for WorkSafe.

From 31 July 2021, WorkSafe inspectors will be able to issue infringement notices to duty holders who are alleged to have committed any of the prescribed offences in the regulations.

Infringement notices

An infringement notice is a fine given by a WorkSafe inspector to a person who has committed an infringement offence (as prescribed under Schedule 20 of the OHS Regulations from 31 July 2021). The notice requires the person to pay a fixed penalty.

An infringement notice will include information about:

  • the alleged offence
  • how much is owed
  • options for resolving an infringement, including options to pay the infringement penalty, requesting a review of the infringement notice, or electing to have the infringement offence heard and determined in Court, and
  • the payment due date which will give you at least 21 days to pay from the date the notice is served

What offences can an infringement notice be issued for?

An infringement notice can be issued for an infringement offence as an alternative to prosecution.

There are 54 offences under the OHS Act and Regulations that are prescribed as infringement offences.

In summary, the offences relate to:

  • undertaking work without a required licence, registration, qualification, experience or supervision
  • using plant that is not licensed or registered as required
  • failing to meet various duties relating to the removal and storage of asbestos
  • failure to keep various required records

What is the penalty for an infringement notice?

While the duties remain unchanged, breaches of offences that are infringement offences can now be met with an immediate penalty.

The amount of the fine will vary depending on the nature of the offence – up to $1817.40 for a corporation and up to $363.48 for an individual.

Infringement offence amounts can be found in Schedule 20 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 from 31 July 2021.

While the penalty units for each offence are set by regulation, the value of the penalty units is reviewed annually by the Victorian Government.

Resolve an infringement

Pay

Use this option to pay:

  • infringement notice
  • penalty reminder notice

Pay now

Request a payment extension

If you can't pay the full amount by the due date, you can apply for a payment extension.

WorkSafe will assess your application based on your:

  • outstanding infringement amount
  • income
  • financial status
  • payment history and
  • any hardship that you are experiencing

Please note that you can apply for a payment extension up to three months from the date of request.

Request a payment extension

Request a payment plan

If you cannot pay your infringement in full by the due date, you can request a payment plan.

If WorkSafe considers your request reasonable, your infringement will be referred to Fines Victoria to manage as a payment arrangement.

Fines Victoria will assess your application based on your:

  • outstanding infringement amount
  • income
  • financial status
  • payment history and
  • any hardship that you are experiencing

Fines Victoria will contact you to assess your eligibility and if approved, determine instalment amounts and a payment schedule.

Request a payment plan

Request review of infringement

If you've received an infringement notice or penalty reminder notice, you can apply to have your infringement reviewed by WorkSafe's Internal Review Unit.

Request to go to court

If you don't want your offence to be dealt with as an infringement, you can choose to have the matter heard and determined in the Magistrates' Court.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Who can be fined?

People who hold obligations under occupational health and safety laws can be issued with an infringement notice if they breach a prescribed offence, including employers, self-employed persons and individuals.

A duty holder in this context can be a body corporate as well as a natural person.

Do infringement notices introduce extra obligations?

Infringement notices don’t create extra obligations; an infringement notice provides another compliance and enforcement tool that is available to WorkSafe inspectors. Infringement offences are all existing offences under the OHS Act or Regulations that must already be complied with.

Importantly, if you’re already complying with your occupational health and safety duties, and continue to, you’re doing the right thing.

There are no changes to what you need to do under the OHS Act or OHS Regulations.

How can duty holders ensure they're meeting their obligations under occupational health and safety laws?

The WorkSafe website has resources to help ensure your workplace is safe.

If your business has 60 workers or fewer, you can apply for the free OHS Essentials program and receive independent and confidential assistance at a time that suits you.

How will fines be issued?

If a WorkSafe inspector identifies an infringement offence during a workplace inspection, they can issue an infringement notice to the duty holder at the time in person or after the inspection by mail.

Can a duty holder dispute a fine?

You can elect for the infringement to be reviewed by the Internal Review Unit, or elect to have the infringement offence heard and determined in court.

If you want WorkSafe to review your fine, you can apply for internal review at any time before the due date for payment listed on your infringement notice or your penalty reminder notice, or within 14 days of becoming aware of a notice if you were unaware of it.

After the due date on the penalty reminder notice, if your fine has not been paid WorkSafe will register the infringement offence with Fines Victoria and you will not be able to apply to WorkSafe for review.

The grounds you can request a review include if you believe:

  • there were exceptional circumstance which applied at the time
  • the decision was contrary to law
  • you are a person who has special circumstances
  • there has been a mistake of identity, or
  • you were unaware of the notice

If you don't want your offence to be dealt with as an infringement, you can also choose to have the matter heard and determined in the Magistrates’ Court.

If you do so, the matter may be listed in the Magistrates' Court and you will need to appear before the Court at a specified date and time for the matter to be considered by a Magistrate.

How will fines be processed?

All fines will initially be processed through WorkSafe.

If you cannot pay by the due date you can also request an extension of time for up to three months to pay, or if you believe you need more time you can request to enter into a payment arrangement.

If you do not pay your fine by the due date a penalty reminder notice will be sent with an increased fee, and a new date for payment.

If you do not pay by the date on the penalty reminder notice, your fine will be referred to Fines Victoria for further enforcement action.

Can infringements notices be issued retrospectively?

Infringement notices can only be issued for offences that WorkSafe inspectors observe from 31 July 2021.

What's the next step after receiving an infringement?

Visit Resolve an infringement to pay the infringement amount online or request an extension or payment plan.

Alternatively you can Request a review of the infringement based on certain grounds, or notify WorkSafe that you wish to elect to have the matter heard and determined in the Magistrates' Court.

How long do I have to pay my infringement notice?

The due date for payment will be on the infringement notice you receive.

Do I need to create a myWorkSafe account to access my infringement?

No. You will just need your infringement notice number and inspection report reference which can be found on your infringement notice, and go to Resolve an infringement.

How do I find my infringement online?

Visit Resolve an infringement to pay the infringement amount online or request an extension or payment plan. Alternatively you can Request a review of the infringement based on certain grounds.

Why can't I find my infringement?

If you have entered your infringement notice number and inspection report reference and cannot see your infringement notice, please contact the Infringements Officer on 1800 136 089 or by email at [email protected].

What if my question isn't covered here?

Please contact the Infringements Officer on 1800 136 089 or by email at [email protected].

Contact us

Infringement Administrator
WorkSafe Victoria
PO Box 279
Geelong Vic 3220

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 1800 136 089

Internal Review Unit
WorkSafe Victoria
GPO Box 4306
Melbourne Vic 3001

Email: [email protected]

Tel: (03) 4343 7060

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