Wednesday, November 29, 2023

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Managing Psychosocial Hazards in the Workplace – Webinar key take-aways

In a series of three webinars together with Gilchrist Connell and Honan Employee Benefits last month, we explored the ongoing impacts of psychosocial hazards across the different lenses of Employment Law, Workers Compensation and Employee Benefits. With a specific focus on best practices and practical guidance in how to best manage your risks so you not only meet regulatory guidelines but also continue to provide a safe work environment for your employees. Here are the key take-aways from the sessions.

Legislative changes in relation to psychosocial risks in the workplace

The landscape of employment law is evolving, with Victoria now joining Queensland and New South Wales in introducing regulations that explicitly address psychosocial hazards. Recognised codes of practice from entities such as SafeWork Australia, SafeWork NSW, SafeWork SA, and WorkSafe Victoria already guide businesses in managing the risks associated with psychosocial hazards in the workplace.

Regulators are taking a targeted approach, focusing on businesses that neglect the critical aspects of psychosocial hazards, including violence, aggression, bullying, and harassment, including sexual harassment. Employers are no longer permitted to be passive observers; a proactive response is mandated. Clear obligations have been outlined, requiring a demonstration of "reasonable practice" in implementing these changes.

It's crucial to recognise that a one-size-fits-all approach is inadequate. Each employer's risk profile is unique, and the changes aim to hold employers accountable for cultivating a positive workplace culture while mitigating psychosocial hazards.

If you missed the webinar, you can view the recording through the link below:

Webinar 1: Effectively identifying and managing psychosocial workplace hazards

Access passcode: etu*8Rfg

Workers’ compensation and liability realities

Regulatory scrutiny on violence, aggression, bullying, and harassment is underscored by trends in workers' compensation data and other credible sources. The data reveals an increase in claim longevity and associated costs, directly impacting scheme performances. The perception of liability is a tangible reality, with case law supporting the principle of the "eggshell psyche."

Effective risk management involves understanding the narrative woven into workers' compensation and incident notifications. These are pivotal in identifying and addressing key exposures that can impact the overall well-being of the workforce.

If you missed the webinar, you can view the recording through the link below:

Webinar 2: The influence of psychosocial hazards on workers compensation schemes

Access passcode: y1*dq$M%

Employee benefits for holistic well-being

Living organisational values involves fostering positive connections in the workplace, recognising that employees spend a significant portion of their lives at work. Feeling safe, valued, and supported is foundational, and employers play a pivotal role in creating this environment.

Employee benefits are key to promoting holistic well-being, encompassing physical, mental, financial, and social aspects. While 38% claim to be holistically healthy, there is a decline in overall well-being. High demands at work, leading to time constraints, are identified as a significant hazard.

Addressing this requires an exploration of ways to reduce the trend of declining health. Employee engagement surveys offer a powerful tool to understand and meet employee needs. Financial security through insurance emerges as a significant trend in employee benefits, emphasising the importance of comprehensive well-being programs. EAP alternatives are becoming more popular which are tailored to today’s working environments and employees lifestyles. Financial wellness programs offer employees with a broad range of financial education through trusted resourcing and funded group insurance programs (Life and Income Protection) are providing peace of mind and protection for employees and/or their families which are established with minimal administration for both employer and employees.


Mental health and holistic tools

The mental health of employees is a critical aspect that needs attention. Evaluating the sufficiency of Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) and tracking engagement through the right platform can significantly enhance mental health initiatives.

Breaking down personal perceptions within the workplace is essential, and leveraging chat engagement aligns with the current trends in how people communicate in 2023. Data and insights are invaluable, and if current providers or tools fall short, it may be time to explore alternatives.

Employers should carefully consider the tools they provide to ensure a comprehensive and effective approach to employee well-being and hazard management.

If you missed the webinar, you can view the recording through the link below:

Webinar 3: How employee benefit tools and solutions can help reduce psychosocial hazards

Access passcode: t0sV9=X=

With you all the way

Please feel free to reach out to the presenters to discuss your organisation’s needs.


Joel Zyngier
Principal – Gilchrist Connell

Bhrig Chauhan
Principal – Gilchrist Connell

Sharon Rutherford
Head of Risk Consulting - Honan Insurance

Travis Bailey
Client Manager – Global Benefits – Honan Insurance

Honan Insurance Group Pty Ltd (Honan)(Australian Financial Services Licence no. 246749, ABN 67 005 372 396) is aninsurance broker acting as agent for insureds and intending insureds. Honan isnot an insurer.  The information in these articles are current as at thedate of first publication and have been prepared without taking into accountyour objectives, financial situation or needs. Any advice provided in thesearticles is of a general nature only. Any statements concerning tax, accountingor legal matters are based solely on Honan’s experience as an insurance brokerand are not to be relied upon as accounting, tax or legal advice. Before makinga decision to purchase an insurance policy, please read the relevant ProductDisclosure Statement to make sure the policy is right for you.  Insurancecover is subject to policy terms and conditions including policy limits andexclusions.

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