Health and Safety Reform Bill makes slow progress

Tuesday 16 December 2014

Authors: Tim Clarke and Grace Stacey-Jacobs

‚ÄčThe Health and Safety Reform Bill is likely to become law late next year.

The Transport and Industrial Relations Select Committee was originally due to report back to the House on the draft Bill in September this year, however, this was delayed due to the General Election. The Committee has reportedly only heard about half of the oral submissions due to be presented. The due date has therefore been revised, and the Committee will only report back to the House in March 2015.

Additional delay is expected while WorkSafe drafts detailed regulations to support the Bill, as well as Approved Codes of Practice and other guidance material. The regulations are being drafted in consultation with Safe Work Australia, practitioners and industry experts and will come into force at the same time as the principal Act. The regulations will cover the following five areas:

  • general risk and worker management
  • worker participation and representation
  • hazardous substances
  • major hazard facilities
  • asbestos.

As a result of the delay, the Bill is not expected to pass into law any earlier than late 2015. There is also likely to be a transitional period before the provisions of the Act come into force, in order to allow businesses to prepare for the changes.


This publication is necessarily brief and general in nature. You should seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters dealt with in this publication.

For more information
  • Tim Clarke

    Partner Auckland
  • Rachael Brown

    Partner Wellington
Related areas of expertise
  • Employment and workplace safety
  • Health and safety