07 Feb 2012
WorkSafe Industry Classification - Corporate Head Office
One of the most vexed areas of WorkSafe Industry Classifications has been both the legislative definition of Corporate Head Office and the approach of WorkSafe Victoria to the circumstances in which it would apply the classification.
This has rightfully been a concern to employers in Victoria for many years because the industry rate for a corporate head office is significantly lower than the vast majority of general industry rates - for example in manufacturing, construction, transport, agriculture and service industries.
Traditionally, for instance, if a company operated a chain of aged care facilities across Victoria and the corporate services are provided from the 20th floor of a St Kilda Road office block, it is distinctly likely that the corporate head office would be classified as a workplace engaged in providing residential aged care combined with either nursing, supervisory or other types of care as required (including medical).
This outcome is the product of an aspect of the legislation that limits the application of a corporate head office, as follows,
"Workplaces predominantly engaged in administering other workplaces which are all in the same predominant industry are included in the industry to which the workplaces, other than the administration workplace, are included."
There are great subtleties in this process and for the inexperienced, chances of successfully navigating through the net are low.
We have had success in the past 3 years in a number of cases of this type, and other WorkSafe issues.
We bring this to your attention at this time for three reasons;
- The legislation has been amended from last year and there has been substantial change to the corporate head office descriptors;
- The time to conduct such reviews is now, before the commencement of the new policy year; and
- A recent case has been heard on the issue in the Supreme Court. Judgement has been reserved so the impact is as yet unknown.
When the decision comes to hand we will let you know, however, in the meantime you should review the current circumstances of your Head Office application in light of the amended legislation and the pending decision.