Work Health and Safety changes 2012

The following is a summary of the key changes due to commence on 1 January 2012 in most States of Australia. In Victoria, these laws commence on the 1st September 2012.

VANA encourages all Newsagents to ACT NOW, and be proactive in creating a safe workplace.

VANA, through its relationship with the ANF is able to offer a program for Newsagents to help them manage these new laws. Click here for all the details.

A summary of the new WHS laws changes are listed below.

Move Away From Employer Definition:

From 1 January 2012, the primary duty of care for workplace safety will sit, not with the employer but rather, with the “Person Conducting the Business or Undertaking” (PCBU). A PCBU may be a corporation, partnership, unincorporated association, a self-employed person, or a sole trader.

Expansion of Duty of Care:

The PCBU concept is much broader than the employer definition it replaces. In simple terms, the introduction of the PCBU definition is designed to break down barriers of responsibility so that there can be more than one party primarily responsible for the health and safety of workers.

Expanded Definition of Worker:

The definition of “worker” has also been expanded to include contractors, subcontractors (or their employees), employees of a labour hire company, volunteers and work experience students, to name but a few. This expanded definition is designed to better reflect the nature of the modern workplace and the types of relationships that now exist within it.

 Expanded Obligation to Consult:

The obligation to consult has been significantly expanded to include a requirement for each PCBU to consult downstream, upstream and cross-stream, depending on the nature of the workplace and the other PCBUs it interacts with.

Additional Powers for Representatives:

The role of the Health and Safety Representative (HSR) has been expanded to include the power to stop work or demand remedial action. From 1 January 2012, it will only take one worker to request the appointment of an HSR and an employer must do so.

Officers Required to Exercise Due Diligence:

Officers (adopting the broad Corporations Act definition of an “Officer”), are required to exercise ongoing ‘due diligence’ to ensure that a PCBU meets its WHS obligations. The definition of due diligence requires each and every officer to take positive steps to inform themselves of their organisation’s workplace safety obligations and to ensure that they have adequate systems and procedures in place to comply with these obligations

 New Model Codes of Practice:

In conjunction with the introduction of the Model Law, new Model Codes of Practice have been developed. These provide guidance as to how to comply with certain aspects of the new legislation. Courts can reference the Codes to identify what is “reasonably practicable”.

Increased Penalties:

  •  Maximum penalties have increased significantly. –
  •  Up to $3 million per breach for a corporation.
  •  Up to $600,000 per breach, or 5 years’ imprisonment, or both, for a director or officer,
  • Up to $300,000 or 5 years’ imprisonment for a worker.

Change in Criminal Jurisdiction:

Whilst in the past directors often referred to the possibility of “going to jail” for workplace safety breaches, the reality was that in the Industrial Court system, offenders were rarely sentenced to a prison term. This may be about to change, with some States now passing jurisdiction for serious offences arising from WHS breaches to the criminal courts. Here, judges are used to imposing prison sentences on a daily basis.

Click here for the WHS System Explained

For more details visit or contact the VANA team on 03 -8540 7000


Newsagency Industry Representation with the ANF

 The newsagency channel is represented by a two tiered structure with local issues handled by the State Associations and ANF Branches and national issues managed by the ANF.

This structure is designed to represent the industry in the most effective manner, presenting a strong, unified voice whilst remaining close to the ground to assist members.

 Newsagents contact their state association or state ANF manager for day-to-day and stated-based issues. Issues with national impact are escalated to the ANF where States and ANF work together to resolve an industry wide or national solution.

 This is exemplified by the negotiations with News Limited and Fairfax Media on new distribution models where all parties are involved and the ANF co-ordinates an overall strategy to establish industry-wide solutions and consistency. State Associations then handle issues peculiar to their states.

In situations such as late papers or natural disasters such as we have seen this year, the state associations are close to the ground and can provide efficient assistance.

 Industry suppliers can liaise with the ANF when looking for an industry-wide solution.

At the top of the industry structure are the member newsagents. Newsagents drive the direction of their membership bodies and if involved can increase the effectiveness of their representation. The ANF liaises with suppliers and government, presents industry submissions to the ACCC as required and works with State Associations on industry-wide solutions. Strategy meetings gather opinions and ideas from all states to find the best solutions for newsagents across the county.



A Fresh Start for 2012

As the New Year starts, it’s  a good time to look at our business and see how we can work smarter not harder.

 Store appearance …. Walk outside your store and see how inviting it is. Does it attract you and feel inviting to enter? Are there too many posters up … does the front need re-painting?

 In-store …. Is there room to move …. More stock is not always the answer to increasing sales … sometimes less is best. Is stock displayed in the best possible manner to sell it? Reward your customers when purchasing products from your store, run in-store prizes. VANA can help in providing your store with prizes such as AFL football tickets and Point of Sale Material that supports your in-store campaign. Contact VANA to help you achieve these extra sales..

 Staff investment …. Does your staff know they are part of your team. How do you make them feel even more important to your business? Never forget they are your front line …. Invest in them so they feel part of YOUR TEAM.

 Training …. When was the last time you invested time and dollars into training … not only for your staff, but also for yourself? We need to always be open to learning new ways and new things. In 2012, VANA will be introducing its new Training platform … so stay tuned.

 New lines …. Have you recently attended a trade fair or visited a supplier that could lead to a new line your store could sell. Are you offering your customers new opportunities for them to spend more $$$ with you.? In 2012 GNS and VANA are teaming up to have a truly INDUSRTY FAIR in August. Make sure you attend this year to see what’s new.

 Technology …. Make 2012 the year to start connecting with your customers on-line. Get a web site, offer your customer’s ways to communicate with you via email or web site, update your hardware, make sure you have the latest version of POS software. These tools are essential to running any business today.   VANA and GNS can both offer solutions that won’t cost you a cent!

 Networking …. Come to VANA events, learn what’s working in other stores and learn from it. Talk to other Newsagents on how they are running their store to find better ways to run yours. Put in your diary now …VANA Golf day 20th March, Industry Awards Night 12th May.

 This list can go on forever …. What’s important here is that you realise the responsibly you have to make sure your business is running at the most efficient that it can. Making sure every corner is seen as an opportunity to make your investment worth more and more every day. 

VANA, as always, is there to support, guide and educate you any way it can. The VANA team welcomes the responsibly of helping the industry maintain and increase the position ‘YOUR NEWSAGENCY” has in your community.

 Good luck for 2012!!!

 The VANA Team.