Steps to elect a HSR

STEP 1: Request for a HSR

Any worker may ask the Principal to facilitate elections for one or more HSRs.

STEP 2: The Department must commence negotiations for work groups within 14 days

HSRs represent work groups. Therefore work groups must be determined before a HSR can be elected.

Within 14 days of receiving request from a worker, the Principal must commence negotiations with workers about the number and composition of work groups that should be formed. If a worker requests that their representative, for example a union official, be involved in these negotiations, they must be included in the negotiations.

The negotiations must take into account a number of matters including:

  • The number of workers within the business or undertaking;
  • The number and grouping of workers who carry out the same or similar types of work; and
  • The diversity of workers and their work.

If negotiations fail, including that the Department or the Principal has not commenced negotiations within 14 days of a request from a worker, anyone who is or would be a party to the negotiations may request that an NT WorkSafe Inspector be called in to determine work groups.

STEP 3: Workers must be notified

As soon as reasonably practical after the negotiations are completed, the Principal must advise workers of the outcome of negotiations and of the work groups determined.

STEP 4: Election of HSRs

The workers within each work group can determine the procedure by which a HSR will be elected, but must comply with any requirements set out in the regulations. The Department must provide resources, facilities and assistance that are reasonably necessary to enable the election to be conducted. The election may be conducted by the work group or, if a majority of members agree, with the assistance of another person of organisation such as a union. Each work group member is entitled to one vote in the election. However, if the number of candidates is equal to the number of vacancies, each candidate is taken to be elected as a HSR for the work group without an election.

STEP 5: Work group notified of election outcome

As soon as reasonably practical after the election, the person who conducted it must advise the members of the work group and the Department of the results.

Once elected a HSR can request training in the legislation to exercise their full powers.The Department must allow the representative to attend training that is:

  • Approved by the regulator; and
  • Which a HSR is entitled, under the WHS Regulations, to attend; and
  • Chosen by a HSR in consultation with the Department unless agreement cannot be reached, in which case either party may ask the regulator to appoint an Inspector to decide.

Within three months of a HSR making the request the Department must allow a HSR time off work to attend the course. The Department must pay the course fees and other reasonable costs associated with a HSR’s attendance at the training. The Department must also pay a HSR what he or she would be entitled to if he or she performed his or her normal duties during that period. If a HSR and the Department cannot agree on the course, timing or reimbursement for the reasonable costs within three months of a HSRs request, either party may request that an NT WorkSafe Inspector be called to determine the matter.

References and further information

Key Steps to Elect HSRs

  1. Any worker can request the election of HSR and the process must begin in 14 days
  2. HSRs must be elected freely and fairly
  3. After being elected HSRs are trained and given powers to protect our health and safety

Key Steps to Elect HSRs

Join the Australian Education Union

The Australian Education Union represents and advocates for all teaching staff in public education, as well as many support workers.

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