Case Study

Relevant Risk: Safety


The changing legislation for Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) across Australia has raised the profile for safety at the Board level of many organisations. This organisation in particular recognised that the broadened scope of this legislation would have a significant impact on their Franchised Business Model.


The Franchise Business Model employed by this organisation allowed a “stand-off” approach to compliance on the basis that the franchisees were their own legal entities. The introduction of the PCBU terminology now made this organisation responsible for the safety of all people within their business, including the franchisees. The organisation needed a way to discharge their obligations without being bogged down by red tape.


A high level review of the organisation based on the six due diligence obligations imposed on Officers by the Harmonised WHS Legislation provided a clear path of action for the franchisor. Setting clear expectations for franchisees and allocating responsibilities and resources for managing safety. Safety was also incorporated into the Franchisee audit process to create efficiencies. Importantly, a commitment to regular review of the WHS Improvement plan was a key component in satisfying due diligence obligations.


The renewed focus on safety for the organisation provided positive feedback from stakeholders. The Board were provided with a robust process for discharging their legal responsibilities.