The Victorian State Government yesterday introduced new workplace manslaughter laws in a bid to toughen penalties and responsibilities for employers. The new laws will include provisions for deaths attributed to mental injuries due to workplace bullying, harassment or abuse. This has the potential for Owners, Directors or Bosses to be liable in the event that a worker was to take their own life as a result of workplace activities.
Industry groups such as the Victorian Chamber of Commerce, Master Builders Association and the Victorian Farmers Federation were quick to criticise the proposed laws. They argue they went too far and would unfairly impact on small business who do not have the capacity to implement comprehensive mental health and wellbeing policies and procedures.
The Attorney General, Jill Hennessey was quick to provide assurance that the burden of proof required to charge employers would be high, but this did not allay the fears of some.
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Read more at the Age website here.