Has Your HSRs’ or Committee Members’ Term of Office Expired?
It is just over 6 years ago that the NSW WHS Act came into force. Since then, HSRs and Committee members have been elected under the requirements of the WHS Act. But their term of office is limited – if they want to stay in that position when their term of office has expired they should be re-elected.
Has your HSR’s term of office expired?
HSRs are elected for a period of 3 years at which time another election for the position of HSR for that workgroup has to be held - (Section 64 WHS Act).
The NSW WHS Act came into force on 1/1/2012. So for example, if a HSR was elected in 2012 then that HSR should have been re-elected 3 years later in 2015 if they wanted to stay as the HSR. Another example; if an HSR was elected in 2015 they have to be re-elected 3 years later in 2018 when their term of office expires.
Can an election be delayed?
No. A PCBU must not unreasonably delay the election of a HSR (clause 19 WHS Regulations - Maximum penalty – an individual $3,600, a corporation $18,000).
Who is eligible for election?
a worker is eligible for election only if they are a member of the work group. (Section 60 WHS Act)
the existing HSR can be re-elected. (Section 64 WHS Act)
a worker is not eligible if they have been disqualified under Section 65 of the WHS Act, from being a HSR. (Section 60 WHS Act)
Who can vote?
Only the members of a workgroup can vote for a HSR candidate for their workgroup. (Section 62 WHS Act)
What is the procedure for electing an HSR?
the workers in a work group can decide how an election should be conducted. (Section 61 WHS Act)
the election may be conducted with the assistance of a union or other person or organisation if a majority of the workers require it. (Section 61 WHS Act)
the PCBU must provide any resources, facilities and assistance that are reasonably necessary to conduct the election and comply with the regulations about procedure. (Section 61 WHS Act 2011)
the PCBU must take reasonable steps to ensure (clause 18 WHS Regulation);
(a) each person in the workgroup is informed of the date of the election as
soon as practicable
(b) all workers in the workgroup are given an opportunity to nominate for the
HSR position and vote
(c) all workers are informed of the outcome of the election.
When is an election not needed?
You don’t need an election if the number of candidates for election as a health and safety representative for a work group equals the number of vacancies in that workgroup. (Section 63 WHS Act)
For further information about HSRs and Training HSRs go HERE
Health & Safety Committee Member Elections
The WHS Act and the WHS Regulations have very little to say on the subject of the election of H&S Committee members. These matters have been left to the PCBU and the workers to agree upon and record in the constitution of the committee when it was established. “The constitution of the health & safety committee may be agreed between the person conducting the business or undertaking and the workers at the workplace”. (See Section 76 (1) WHS Act) Ideally that Constitution should show the period of time a member can be a member before having to be re-elected.
For further information about Committees and training committee members go HERE
19th June 2018
You are welcome to download and distribute the article in your workplace if you feel it may be useful