New workshops – understanding psychosocial hazards

New workshops – understanding psychosocial hazards

Latest News & Events

New workshops – understanding psychosocial hazards

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The introduction of the new positive duty to eliminate or control psychosocial hazards casts a whole new perspective on what organisations need to do to be compliant with their legal obligations and be seen to manage this duty  responsibly. It really does require a significant shift in mindset and an overhaul of how you manage policies, processes, practices and people.  

Background

At Ridgeline HR, we developed our 4C compliance model 20 years ago and it really does stand up when you look at what a positive duty requires. It is much more than just putting out a policy, telling people they have to comply with it and reacting to resolve any breaches or complaints.

That is because we have always believed that the key PEOPLE FACTORS that SMBs have to get right are the quality of relationships and the behaviour of their people. They are very much in focus under the positive duties. 

So we are well versed in all of this stuff.

Our Workshops

We are offering organisations the opportunity to leverage our experience and knowledge in this space via engaging and practical workshops for your leadership team or your consultative/safety committee or other representative body.

The workshops which run for 3 hours are highly interactive and designed to engage participants in the process of developing an appropriate and effective organisational response to the introduction of the positive duty.

 Learning outcomes

 Participants will gain:

  • Knowledge of what the psychosocial hazards are and why they are psychosocial hazards
  • A practical awareness of the questions that organisations need to be asking with respect to each of the psychosocial hazards and how risks associated with psychosocial hazards can manifest in workplaces through policies, processes, practices and people.
  • An understanding of how multiple psychosocial hazards can be in play and compound risks.
  • An appreciation of the value of recognising organisational strengths as well as areas for improvement and the difference that approaching this with a positive mindset can make.
  • An introduction to our purpose designed HEART framework for implementing an effective psychosocial hazard control plan with your people. 
  • A practical start on developing your own organisational Psychosocial Hazard Risk Control Plan.

Options

We can deliver this workshop in person or online.

We can also provide a number of ancillary services such as:

    • Our Better Workplace Projects where we take a deep dive into your organisation having conversations with a representative cross section of your people to identify strengths and opportunities for improvements
    • Conducting surveys of your people using the best practice PERMAH Workplace Wellbeing Survey and/or its companion psychosocial hazard survey and unpacking the results with you
    • Setting up, training and facilitating your own Better Workplace Team to really take hold of the well-being agenda in your workplace and collaboratively drive improvements
    • Helping to redesign and reposition your People and Culture policies and procedures to align with your new positive duty obligations 

 Contact us using the “Tell us what you need help with” form below to arrange your session.

CONTACT US

Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
ABN : 24 091 644 094

enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

1300 108 488

PARTNER LINKS

Smilsafe

TELL US WHAT YOU NEED HELP WITH

Webinar #3 – What do these new positive duties mean?

Webinar #3 – What do these new positive duties mean?

Latest News & Events

Webinar #3 – What do these new positive duties mean?

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Complying with Australian employment laws has been a challenge for businesses of all sizes for many years but that challenge has gone up a notch with the introduction of positive duties. Plus, we are seeing individuals being prosecuted and personally fined or even face jail time in serious cases under workplace health and safety laws and the Fair Work Act. 

In this episode, we’ll show you what positive duties really mean in practical terms and what you need to do to assure compliance and we’ll run you through our own HEART model for positive duty compliance.

What you will learn in the webinar:

  • What does positive duty mean legally and in practice?
  • How is it different from the pre=existing compliance regime?
  • Why has it changed?
  • Some practical examples of applying the positive duty to real workplace situations
  • What you (as a business owner, employer, manager, HR or WHS practitioner) need to know ?
  • How to use our HEART model for positive duty compliance.

Bookings at https://www.trybooking.com/CQQIC.

If you would like to learn more about ways that we can do this, please call us on 1300 108 488 or email us at enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au.

CONTACT US

Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
ABN : 24 091 644 094

enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

1300 108 488

PARTNER LINKS

Smilsafe

TELL US WHAT YOU NEED HELP WITH

New webinar series on HR compliance for small businesses

New webinar series on HR compliance for small businesses

Latest News & Events

New webinar series on HR compliance for small businesses

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From next month, we will be running free monthly webinars specifically designed to assist small to medium businesses in understanding their legal obligations as employers and to provide them with guidance on how to manage those obligations in practice. We are doing this because we are going through the biggest period of change in employment laws, modern awards and compliance requirements ever and that is further complicating what is already an extremely complex obligation for business owners and employers . There are seven sessions running from May to November.

The first of these webinars (on Tuesday 21 May 2024 from 10.30 to 11.15) is about all of the changes that are happening in the Fair Work Act, modern awards and other legislation….there are around 70 changes over a period of 3 years. See our video with the timeline on all of these changes: https://ridgelinehr.com.au/navigating-the-biggest-era-of-change-in-hr-ever/

Unfortunately, there is a lot of noise out there about changes that have little if any impact and lack of clarity about the ones that do. We’ll cut through the noise and tell you what matters and what you should do about it. Book in for free at https://www.trybooking.com/CQQHD or via the QR code in the image.

The subsequent webinars are:

  • Episode #2: Tuesday 18 June 2024: Understanding the Fair Work system and the players
  • Episode #3: Tuesday 16 July 2024: What do these new positive duties mean for SMBs?
  • Episode #4: Tuesday 20 August 2024: What are National Employment Standards? 
  • Episode #5: Tuesday 17 September 2024: What are modern awards and how do they work?
  • Episode #6: Tuesday 15 October 2024: What are psychosocial hazards and how to deal with them?
  • Episode #7: Tuesday 19 November 2024: Preventing sexual harassment and gender-based behaviours

If you have any questions that you need answered urgently, please contact us on 1300 108 488 or at enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au.

CONTACT US

Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
ABN : 24 091 644 094

enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

1300 108 488

PARTNER LINKS

Smilsafe

TELL US WHAT YOU NEED HELP WITH

Using PERMAH for your POSITIVE DUTY

Using PERMAH for your POSITIVE DUTY

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Using PERMAH for your POSITIVE DUTY

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Above image is courtesy of The Wellbeing Lab/Michelle McQuaid Group.

 

Background

Under Workplace Health and Safety laws, a positive duty to eliminate or control psychosocial hazards has been imposed on all persons conducting a business or undertaking.

This means that the traditional compliance approach of issuing a policy and procedures, providing them to workers, requiring their compliance with them and acting on incidents or breaches when they are reported is not adequate any more.

It is necessary to conduct a thorough risk assessment to see whether any risks from each of the 14 psychosocial hazards in the Model code for managing psychosocial hazards published by Safe Work Australia and as set out in legislation enacted by each State or Territory.

There is also a duty to consult workers at each stage of the process and especially in relation to identifying risks and designing and implementing control plans and measures. 

One way to start addressing both the risk assessment and consultation obligations is to survey workers with an appropriate survey instrument. Our choice to do that is the PERMAH Workplace Wellbeing Survey.

Why have we chosen PERMAH?

The PERMAH workplace wellbeing framework is based on the ground-breaking wellbeing theory developed by Professor Martin Seligman as published in his celebrated work “Flourish”.

The PERMAH survey tool has been used by the Australian Human Resources Institute since 2018 as a national workplace wellbeing benchmarking tool and Small Business Victoria as the centrepiece of its small business wellbeing programs.

A unique feature of the PERMAH Survey is that every person who does the survey gets their own individual State of Wellbeing Report plus a template for developing a wellbeing plan plus access to a heap of wellbeing resources….all for free.

Organisations with 30 or more employees can acquire an annual licence and obtain organisational reports which show the aggregated findings on wellbeing in the organisation through the eyes and experiences of its people.

We have a team of people who have undertaken Certificates in Creating Wellbeing and in Leading Psychological Safety and Care and are accredited to debrief people on their PERMAH Survey results.

With the advent of the positive duty to eliminate or control psychosocial hazards, the survey has been augmented with a panel of additional questions specifically related to each of the 14 psychosocial hazards detailed in Safe Work Australia’s model code.

So we believe that the PERMAH Workplace Survey with the Psychosocial Hazard Panel Add-on ticks all of the boxes – it is science-based, it has credibility being used nationally by AHRI, it is affordable, it provides free and practical wellbeing advice and resources to everyone who does it and it addresses the psychosocial hazards in a practical and cost effective way.

How we can we help

Our “Using PERMAH for Positive Duties” service incorporates the following elements:

  • A 12 month licence for the PERMAH Workplace Wellbeing Survey including the add-on psychosocial hazard panel.
  • Ability to undertake the survey as an organisation multiple times during the licence period.
  • Templates and an animated video for communications to employees on the PERMAH Workplace Wellbeing Survey, why your organisation is doing it and how employees can participate.
  • Professional analysis of survey results, provision of a supplementary report and management debrief on the results.

We have the flexibility to package these elements in a variety of ways and to undertake other services such as individual PERMAH debriefings, training programs and facilitated sessions with leadership groups or consultative or safety committees.

Where to now?

If you would like to learn more about the positive duty to eliminate or control psychosocial hazards and your options for addressing it, we’ll be happy to advise you. Just give us a call on 1300 108 488 or email enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au.

 

 

 

 

CONTACT US

Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
ABN : 24 091 644 094

enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

1300 108 488

PARTNER LINKS

Smilsafe

TELL US WHAT YOU NEED HELP WITH

Our Positive People Partner offering

Our Positive People Partner offering

Latest News & Events

 

Our Positive People Partner offering

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The introduction of positive duties to prevent sexual and gender-based harassment and to eliminate or control psychosocial hazards has raised the bar on compliance for all “Persons conducting a business or undertaking”. We believe that these responsibilities are especially challenging for small to medium businesses who don’t have their own specialist HR or WHS staff so we decided to design a solution for them.

You are a small business owner probably with 10 to 100 staff and you want to be a good employer but you are finding it tough to deal with the ever increasing compliance burden and the mental health and wellbeing challenges that some of your people have. You haven’t the training or experience in those things and you need to be focused on operating and growing your business.

1 in 4 Australians will have a mental health challenge this year so the odds are that you have some in your workplace.

The responsibilities that you have as an employer fall into the following areas (as set out in the National Mental Health Commission’s “Blueprint for mentally healthy workplaces”):

  • Protect: identify and manage work-related risks to mental health
  • Respond: identify and support people experiencing mental ill health or distress
  • Promote: recognise and enhance the positive aspects of work that contribute to good mental health

So you know that you need help but you are not sure where you can find all that you need to get this stuff right in a practical and affordable way.

That is where we come in. Ridgeline HR has been operating since 2000 and we specialise in “Helping PEOPLE in BUSINESS with PEOPLE BUSINESS” – from hiring to firing and everything in between”. 

We have the expertise in compliance and workplace wellbeing using a structured approach based in positive psychology to help with the positive duties and other change requirements in an engaging and compassionate way.

This is how our “Positive People Partner” offering works:

  • We effectively become your own People and Culture Manager
  • We visit your workplace on a scheduled basis, typically fortnightly or monthly 
  • We get to know you and your people and learn how we can be of assistance to you and them
  • We educate you and your team about key matters such as the positive duties to prevent sexual and gender-based behaviours and to eliminate or control psychosocial hazards
  • We facilitate the consultation process on key issues like those positive duties with your people so as to understand how your people see these and what issues might be of most significance for them in your workplace
  • We undertake the risk assessments and put together the risk management plans in consultation with you and your people 
  • We design the policies, systems and communications that need to be put in place and educate you, your leaders and your people about how they work, why they are necessary and what their responsibilities are
  • We are available for any of your people to call us for confidential discussions on any health and wellbeing challenge or other concern that they might have
  • We will advise and coach you and your leaders on any issues that you need to deal with in the area of people and culture
  • We provide you with access to our established network of quality employment lawyers and other specialists to help with specific issues as they arise
  • We’ll have a bit of fun along the way.

If you would like to explore our “Positive People Partner” offering further, please give us a call on 1300 108 488 for a free no obligation consultation about your needs and ways that we might be able to help.

 

 

CONTACT US

Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
ABN : 24 091 644 094

enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

1300 108 488

PARTNER LINKS

Smilsafe

TELL US WHAT YOU NEED HELP WITH

New code on sexual and gender-based harassment adds to the mix

New code on sexual and gender-based harassment adds to the mix

Latest News & Events

 

New code on sexual and gender-based harassment adds to the mix

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Safe Work Australia has published a new code on sexual and gender-based harassment which makes reference to the positive duty to eliminate sexual harassment and gender-based behaviours that has been legislated nationally under the Sex Discrimination Act. You can access the code here.

It also notes that satisfying your duty under the Sex Discrimination Act doesn’t necessarily mean that you would also satisfy your WHS obligations – for example in relation to the positive duty to eliminate or control psychosocial hazards.

It also makes the point that, if someone is sexually harassed, it is likely that other psychosocial hazards could be in play.

I then got to thinking about all of the different jurisdictions that now have a footprint in the area of sexual harassment and how confusing it must be for people (whether a victim trying to access help or an employer trying to understand their obligations) to work out where to go for what – the picture above tells the story.  

So who does what?

This is what it looks like for Victorian employers and employees.

Firstly, Safe Work Australia which published this code is a national body funded by Commonwealth, State and Territory governments to develop national policy and guidance materials such as codes on workplace health and safety matters. It is not a regulator and has no involvement on complaints or enforcement matters. 

WorkSafe Victoria is the regulator on Workplace Health and Safety matters in Victoria. Complaints of sexual harassment can be made to WorkSafe Victoria and they will investigate such matters in the context of whether there is any breach of WHS obligations.

The Australian Human Rights Commission is an independent authority that investigates complaints about discrimination and human rights breaches. It does accept complaints of sexual harassment and discrimination and can assist in resolution of complaints through a process of conciliation. Since December 2023, it also has inspection and enforcement powers relative to any alleged breaches of the new positive duty on PCBUs including employers to eliminate sexual harassment and other unwanted gender-based behaviour.

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission deals with complaints under Victorian Equal Opportunity legislation including those related to sexual and gender-based harassment and provides a voluntary conciliation service.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is the national workplace relations regulator. Part of its role is educational and providing employers and employees on their obligations and rights and legal processes for dealing with such things as sexual harassment. Because there are specific jurisdictions that deal with sexual harassment cases, they are more likely to provide advice on what options a worker has rather than deal with a complaint themselves.

The Fair Work Commission has, for a number of years, had the power to issue “stop sexual harassment orders”. Since March 2023, the Commission has had additional powers enabling it to accept claims of sexual harassment and implement mediation, conciliation and arbitration processes to resolve them.  It is important to note that all workers, not just employees, have access to this jurisdiction.

So what do you do now?

As you can see from the above, this is a very complicated area of law with a variety of pathways that a complainant might take depending on the outcome that they are looking for.

There are a couple of things that all employers need to do. 

Firstly, take the positive duty to prevent sexual and gender-based harassment seriously and ensure that you do what is necessary to meet that duty.

Secondly, ensure that you have access to sound and informed professional advice.

At Ridgeline HR, we can help you with a lot of that and we have a network of specialist lawyers and other professional service providers to assist in complex or specialised areas.

If you would like to explore how we might help you and your business in this or any other area of people compliance and culture, please give us a call on 1300 108 488 or email enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au to arrange your free first consultation.

 

 

CONTACT US

Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
ABN : 24 091 644 094

enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

1300 108 488

PARTNER LINKS

Smilsafe

TELL US WHAT YOU NEED HELP WITH