SAFE AS HOUSES: INTRODUCTION
The global Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated trends already in existence as a result of changes in technology to make remote working or working from home a viable reality
for many organisations and employees/contractors.
While some employees who have worked from home during the pandemic crisis will return to the formal workplace, it is likely there will be a permanent change in the way many employers engage with employees and contractors, who will increasingly find themselves working remotely or from home either part or full time, as a regular condition of their employment.
While this may not be completely new in many cases, the scale in which it is embraced by many employers is unprecedented.
One fundamental factor has not changed, however, and that is the responsibility – enshrined and articulated in a variety of State
and Commonwealth legislation – that identifies the primary duty of care of the employer to eliminate or minimise risks to
health and safety in the workplace. When staff are working from home, it is defined as a workplace.
'Safe As Houses WHS' was established in 2021 by a group of like-minded senior business professionals who were in a
position to understand the full ramifications of this dramatic change to the nature of work in Australia. How this may affect the risk and liability profile of employers both large and small, who may now and in the future be exposed to a range of
compliance, legal and financial obligations that result from this trend.
Coming from backgrounds that cover the Legal and HR professions along with the Corporate, Government, Business Consulting and Management professions, 'Safe As Houses WHS' was formed to provide a practical and simple solution to the question of how employers can best address their primary duty of care and eliminate or mitigate the risks to
health and safety of their employees working from home.