Changing ways of work

Back to the February 2023 News Update

Sinead McHugh

Sinead McHugh
Director WHS Framework

The way work is carried out is rapidly changing, as are the relationships between workers and PCBUs. Growing numbers of people have freelance or task based jobs and there has been an increase in gig and platform work. 

While WHS roles and responsibilities are relatively well understood in traditional work arrangements, a key focus of my work is developing national policy to help clarify WHS roles and responsibilities in new and evolving work arrangements including platform, online and disintermediated work contexts.

Demographic shifts and changing expectations around care and family are also likely to change the nature of work. The COVID-19 pandemic sparked a sharp shift to working from home and more flexible working arrangements across a wide variety of occupations. Hybrid work models, including working from home are likely to continue and may change or create new WHS risks that PCBUs need to manage.

The changing nature of work is a key issue that will impact most industries and present emerging WHS issues across the life of the ten-year Strategy. A strategic approach to policy development is required to anticipate and identify these challenges and design effective policy solutions.

Go to the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2023-2033.