New Mental Health Obligations for ALL Victorian Employers expected to take effect mid-2022

The Victorian Government have proposed an amendment to the Occupational Health and Safety Amendment (Psychological Health) Regulations which are expected to take effect mid-2022.


The regulations will have a significant compliance obligation on employers to manage the risk to their employees' mental health, including duties to identify, control and implement 'prevention plans' and six-monthly reporting.


Although Victoria has taken the lead in implementing regulations focusing on Psychosocial risk mitigation, other states are sure to follow.


The critical changes that have been proposed are requiring employers to:

  • identify and control risks posed by psychosocial hazards

  • review risk control measure

  • prepare written prevention plans where hazards are identified

  • employers with more than 50 employees to periodically report "reportable psychosocial complaints" to WorkSafe every six months (Penalties will apply for non-reporting to WorkSafe)

Psychosocial hazards are factors in the following areas:

  • Work design

  • System of Work

  • Management of Work

  • Carrying out the work

  • Personal or work-related interactions

that may arise in the working environment and may cause an employee to experience one or more negative psychological responses that create a risk to the health and safety.


What should employers do?


Employers should act now to ensure that they have identified all psychosocial hazards. A "one size fits all" approach will not be enough.

  • ensure that an experienced person conducts a robust psychosocial risk assessment (if you have any existing ones, review and ensure that you are compliant moving forward)

  • ensuring that you are taking reasonably practical control measures on the risks identified

  • Per section 35 of the OHS, in respect of identified risk and proposed control measures, carry out consultations with your employees.

  • ensure you have a robust reporting system in readiness for complying with the new amendments

Please contact us if you would like more information or assistance about the new requirements of the proposed regulations, the undertaking of psychosocial risk assessments or anonymous reporting.


Emma Parsons

Director

+61 481 286 550

emma@proactiveaction.co