[special alert to our network] Health and Safety at Work Volunteer Amendment Bill
Health and Safety at Work Volunteer Amendment Bill
The New Zealand Council of Trades Union Te Kauae Kaimahi (CTU) – a Hui E! member have contacted us to alert us to a current Bill in Parliament – the Health and Safety at Work (Volunteer) Amendment Bill.
This Bill is relevant to Hui E! members many of whom are voluntary organisations with a small employed staff.
The Bill would remove voluntary organisations which employ a person or persons who work for a cumulative total of fewer than 100 hours a week, from the definition of a person conducting a business or undertaking (“PCBU”). – In other words, the Bill exempts these organisations from the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 .
The CTU are opposed to this Bill and urge Hui E! members to be aware of this Bill and make submissions if possible. Late submissions may be possible.
The Bill removes the duty of care under the Health and Safety at Work 2015 Act on voluntary organisations who are partially volunteer-based but employ a few people part-time or full-time.
The CTU opposes this Bill and urges Hui E! members to do likewise on the grounds that:
- Creating an exemption for voluntary organisations who employ a certain number of staff undermines the importance of health and safety responsibility and rights in voluntary organisations
- Volunteers and staff working in voluntary organisations should all have all the basic health and safety protections afforded under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015
- Not having the health and safety protections for volunteers and workers will be a disincentive for wanting to work in voluntary organisations
- Removing these health and safety protections is a backward step in recognising and building a strong positive health and safety workplace culture in voluntary organisations
- There is no evidence that voluntary organisations have been disadvantaged by the new Health and Safety at Work Act.
- Such an exemption would add a new and unnecessary level of complexity to the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.
Submissions to the Bill are due on 29 June. The link to the Bill is here: https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_76427/health-and-safety-at-work-volunteer-associations-amendment
Eileen Brown is the CTU contact on this issue should you have any queries: Cell 027 475 0808 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org