In the Work Health & Safety Act, what is a person conducting a business or undertaking?

A person conducting a business or undertaking is a broad concept designed to capture all types of modern working arrangements.

A ‘person’ may be an organisation or an individual.

Is the Parish Council aperson conducting a business or undertaking?

The Parish Council is the body responsible under the Parochial Administration Ordinance for the effective management and regulation of the property and affairs of the parish, and thus operates with similar responsibility to a management committee or a Board of Directors. For the purposes of the WHS laws, the Parish Council is a person conducting a business or undertaking.

Is the church a workplace?

If you have a parish priest or minister in your parish, then the church building will be regarded as a workplace.

Is the Parish Office a workplace?  

If the priest or any volunteers perform any work related to parish activities, then the parish office is a workplace.

Is the parish priest a worker?

Yes, for the purposes of the WHS laws, the parish priest/minister is a worker.

Are members of Parish Council workers?

Yes, when they are attending council meetings or performing any other work for the parish, members of parish council are workers.

What responsibilities do members of Parish Council have for WHS matters?

Members of Parish Council have a duty to take all steps that are reasonably practicable to ensure the health and safety of parish workers whilst they are at work.

Is a member of Parish Council an officer?

Yes, as a person who makes or participates in the making of decisions that affect the whole or a large part of the parish’s activities, members of Parish Council are likely to be deemed to be an officer,  for the purpose of the WHS laws.  

Are volunteers covered by the WHS laws?

Volunteers in a workplace are classified as workers under the WHS laws.  This means that volunteers may receive the same protection as paid workers.  Note, though, that volunteers also have a duty of care for their own health and safety, as well as for that of others in the workplace.

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Talk with one of our Ministry Support team at 08 8305 9359 or email