As reported in The Australian, Workplace Relations Minister Chris Evans has today conceded that it is possible for businesses to delay the implementation of the new WHS laws by up to 12 months. Harmonisation is due to be rolled out on January 1, 2012. However, if a business has to undertake significant changes to implement the rollout it can be delayed for up to a year. This concession paves the way for the delayed implementation of these laws as almost every business has to undertake significant changes.

The Model Legislation and Model Regulations have been slow in being developed; and the Model Codes of Practice are still available for public comment until December 18.

With just a number of weeks until January 1 – the Work Health Safety bill will be debated in the Senate today. The coalition is seeking a number of amendments to the bill, signalling more delays.

What does all this mean for businesses – large and small? The answer will unfold over the coming days and weeks.

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