Protecting your rights at work all year round!

Whether you wear a blue collar, a white collar or no collar at all, ACT Labor is committed to protecting your rights at work.

This has and always will be a priority for Labor governments.

We defend decent wages, secure employment conditions and fair entitlements to safeguard your work-life balance.

To make sure everyone gets home to the people they love at the end of the day, we continue our commitment to ensuring all workplaces are free from physical and psychological risks. To this end, we have created an independent WorkSafe agency, which holds employers to account.   

This week, when a shoring wall at a large-scale development site in Dickson collapsed, WorkSafe inspectors were soon on the scene to make sure worker safety remained the top priority.

Through Operation Safe Prospect, which investigated residential construction developments, WorkSafe has already inspected more than 920 workplaces for risks and compliance. In the last financial year alone, it issued 199 prohibition notices as part of this operation, primarily for failures to manage the risks of falls from heights.

Under Labor, the ACT Government will continue to pursue safer conditions for construction industry workers, including through the introduction of a scheme that requires property developers both large and small – to be licensed.

In this term of government, we have taken some important steps forward, including:

  • Legislating industrial manslaughter under the Work Health and Safety Act as an offence that can result in imprisonment for up to 20 years or fines of up to $16.5 million.
  • Establishing new regulations to protect workers from dangerous silica dust exposure.
  • Converting over 650 ACT Government public servants from casual or temporary contracts to secure employment arrangements.

We also have a great deal more in the pipeline, such as:

  • Getting tough on sexual assault by requiring all workplaces to notify the Work Health Safety Commissioner of a complaint – no matter how big or small they think it is.
  • Expanding the portable long service leave scheme so that more workers in more industries can accrue long-service leave across jobs.
  • Trialling a new insourcing framework that minimises the amount of work being done by contractors, instead using the skills of public servants and developing their capacity.

We want a workforce where everyone can enter, stay and flourish. This means a fair distribution of chances for career progress, the necessary support when life gets in the way and swift action when employers do the wrong thing.

No matter what the job, it is in our nature to want to do it well. But that doesn’t mean work is the be-all and end-all in our lives. Recognition of this is at the core of Labor and the union movement’s ideology. 

I love my job working with the unions and workers to create an economy where you are appropriately valued and developed and treated with dignity.

This Safe Work Month, whether you’re an employee or an employer, I call on you to take a moment to catch up with your colleagues and talk about what needs improvement in your workplace. Then to take action by discussing it with your manager, union representative or a Worksafe inspector.

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