find the latest legal job
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Adelaide CBD · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
Freelance Project Finance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Australia
· Vario are looking for freelance lawyers with experience in project finance ideally within the renewable energy sector
View details
Vario Freelance Lawyers
Category: Construction Law | Location: All Australia
· We are looking for lawyers who appreciate the endless possibilities that a freelance career can offer.
View details
Freelance Construction Lawyers
Category: Construction Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· We are looking for construction lawyers who appreciate the endless possibilities that a freelance career can offer.
View details
Banking Associate - 1-6PQE - Allen & Overy
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: United Kingdom
· Banking Associate - 1-6 PQE - Allen & Overy
View details
New laws put companies at risk

New laws put companies at risk

Directors of companies may be at increased risk of being personally prosecuted under new draft work safety legislation, legal experts warn.

DIRECTORS of companies may be at increased risk of being personally prosecuted under new draft work safety legislation, legal experts warn.


Under the draft Safe Work Act released by the federal government, officers will now have a duty to exercise due diligence to ensure that their company or organisation has complied with its safety duties, law firm Blake Dawson work safety specialist Lea Constantine said. 


This duty is owed at all times when a person is an officer, and doesn't just become an issue in a legal defence when a workplace incident occurs, she said. 


The proposed work safety legislation, which intends to make individual laws across the different States uniform, will potentially expose a broader class of executives to liability due to the way in which the draft law has defined the term "officer".  Failure to comply could result in hefty penalties and/or potentially jail time.


Constantine said the new laws turn a spotlight on the personal steps that officers must take to ensure safety.

  

"Under the draft Safe Work Act, officers will need to demonstrate to a safety regulator that they have personally exercised due diligence to ensure the safety of workers and others.  The legislation does not tell us what 'due diligence' means, so each officer will need to devise and implement appropriate due diligence steps."


The issue has been highlighted as Blake Dawson starts a national road show, advising clients about how the new laws will affect their business.


Constantine said executives need to start preparing for the new laws. 


"Given the requirement for officers to exercise due diligence, many officers, particularly of large corporations, will need to start preparing now. Those officers will need to be able to answer a regulator's question about what due diligence they have personally undertaken."

Like this story? Read more:

Book commemorates diamond milestone for WA law society

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending


New laws put companies at risk
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Jan 23 2018
Disrupting traditional archiving and storage methods
Promoted by Fileman TRENDS COME and go but technology and its disruption to the legal landscape h...
Scales of Justice
Jan 23 2018
WA to close ‘legal loophole’ on gender reassignment laws
Laws in Western Australia will soon change to permit married people to undergo gender reassignment s...
Lawyers take to Twitter to share career stories
Jan 22 2018
Lawyers take to Twitter to share career stories
The #mypathtolaw hashtag has been embraced by legal eagles to swap stories with the Twitter communit...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...