In the passage of the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (SA), section 274 – Approved codes of practice was passed which outlines the role of the Small Business Commissioner.
Section 274 – Approved codes of practice
(3) In connection with the operation of subsections (1) and (2) –
- the Small Business Commissioner must be consulted before a code of practice is
submitted to the Minister under this section so that the Commissioner may assess
whether the code of practice would affect small business if implemented and, if so, provide any comments or advice that the Commissioner considers to be appropriate in the circumstances (including that the code be varied); and
- If the Small Business Commissioner recommends that a code of practice be varied, the Minister may make such a variation without the need to adopt the process envisaged by subsection (2) (but may undertake such consultation in relation to the matter as the Minister thinks fit).
The effect of this amendment was that the Small Business Commissioner would act as a final check or avenue of feedback for new Codes of Practice under the Work Health Safety legislation in South Australia. The Commissioner will make recommendations or provide advice or feedback to the Minister for Industrial Relations prior to the Codes being approved.
The Office of the Small Business Commissioner does not develop these codes – they are formed by a process involving employers/industry groups, trade unions and government at national level including going through a detailed public consultation process. Safe Work Australia develops model Codes of Practice as part of the package of harmonised work health and safety laws.
Codes of Practice are practical guides to achieving the standards of health, safety and welfare required under the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (SA) and the WHS Regulations under that Act.
The Small Business Commissioner provides the Minister for Industrial Relations with advice and feedback. Details of this advice can be found here.
Further information about the WHS Codes can be found at the Safe Work Australia website