Understanding Victoria's Proposed Occupational Health and Safety Amendment (Psychological Health) Regulations in Australia

Understanding Victoria’s Proposed Occupational Health and Safety Amendment (Psychological Health) Regulations in Australia

Mental health is just as important as physical health. Unfortunately, it is often overlooked in the workplace in Australia. Employees may neglect to speak out about their mental health issues because they fear it may hinder their work opportunities. However, failing to recognize and address mental health issues is detrimental to the individual’s overall wellbeing. In response to this growing concern, the Victorian government has proposed a new amendment. The occupational health and safety amendment (psychological health) regulations have been created to support businesses to encourage mental wellbeing. These regulations will touch on workplace policies, and in this blog, we will break down who these regulations affect and what it means for your business.

First off, who will be directly impacted by these new regulations? Put simply, all Victorian employers in all industries are affected. The amendment will apply to both public and private employers and will affect organisations of all sizes and structures. The introduction of these new regulations will require organisations to implement policies relating to mental health in the workplace. Employers will need to provide adequate support to staff members and undertake risks involved with workers’ psychological health and wellbeing.

Understanding Victoria's Proposed Occupational Health and Safety Amendment (Psychological Health) Regulations in Australia

To ensure compliance with the amendment, it is also critical for organisations to engage with legal processes. This means auditing current occupational health and safety practice and policies to ensure that they incorporate issues related to psychological health in a way that is compliant with new regulations. Employers will also need to undergo regular reviews and updates to ensure their policies meet regulatory standards.

It is worth noting that the proposed regulations have a direct link to workplace bullying and harassment. Employers must ensure they have the proper procedures and support available if an employee raises a complaint of bullying and harassment in the workplace. Employers must also provide staff training and run campaigns to prevent workplace bullying and harassment.

Apart from compliance, there are practical benefits for organisations that go beyond legal compliance. Optimising mental health care can lead to higher productivity, increased employee retention, and business expansion. The introduction of mental health initiatives can also ensure that your company is seen as a safe work environment for staff members.

The proposed occupational health and safety amendment is an important step in addressing mental health in the workplace in Australia. The amendment will provide a framework for organisations to optimise mental health care explicitly. It is important for companies to accept the proposed regulations as part of their responsibility to produce a safer workplace. The bottom line is if you want a successful business, you need healthy employees. When employees feel that their well-being is prioritized, they are more motivated and committed to their work. So, take this opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to employee health and wellbeing in your organisation. Together we can make our workplaces better and safer for all of us.