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First Aid training - Who pays?

Does the employer or employee pay for First Aid training?

Under the WHS Act, you the employer, have a duty to ensure that your organisation has trained first aid officers.

Training costs

When it comes to who pays for the actual course, the Australian WHS legislation does not actually determine who should pay for first aid training. However, if there is a requirement for you to pay for costs relating to First Aid training, this will be stated in the applicable Award or Enterprise Agreement. Some Awards also place a legal requirement on you to pay a First Aid Allowance to those employees accredited in First Aid.

Employee time costs

If you direct an employee to complete First Aid training (and ongoing reaccreditation), then you the employer must pay the employee for their time attending the training.

Employment Contracts

If you are making it a requirement that an employee is accredited in First Aid, the best way to protect yourself from any confusion by keeping your first aid payment arrangements with employees crystal clear, is to include a clause in the employee’s Employment Contract stating:

·      The employee must obtain first aid accreditation and maintain currency

·      they are expected to offer first aid in the case of an accident

·      training costs will be paid by the employer

·      whether the training is to be completed during normal work hours or not (if it’s not then remember, you will need to pay them for the hours spent attending the training)

Maintaining Currency

Some specific types of first aid training are only valid for a certain period, (e.g. CPR is 1 year), so you should budget for this regular re-training. The Registered Training Organisation (RTO) that provides the First Aid training can advise you of re-training requirements.

How many first aiders do I need?

To meet the requirements under the Act, you will need to have at least one first aider in each workplace. The number of first aiders you need will depend on the size and risk level of your workplace. Here is a basic guide of what the WHS Act requires:

Low-Risk Workplace
1-50 employeesminimum of 1 first aider
High-risk Workplace1-25 employees
25-50 employees
minimum of 1 first aider
minimum of 2 first aiders

First Aid Kits

The contents of your workplace first aid kits should be tailored to your working environment. Access our First Aid Kit Checklist here.

What to do now

The WHS Act applies to all businesses whether you employ 1 employee or 100. Therefore, as soon as you start employing people, you must start meeting each of the legal obligations under the Act which are designed to minimise the risk of injury in your workplace.

  • —Determine whether your workplace is high-risk or low-risk (take in to consideration the activities your employees perform and the hazards and risks associated with these, and also how far the workplace is from emergency services
  • —Consider which employees and how many, you will require to obtain First Aid accreditation
  • —Put together 1 or more workplace first aid kits with the contents in our First Aid Kit Checklist
  • —Check if your Award requires you to pay a First Aid Allowance and for the training costs
  • —Check if you have a First Aid clause in the Employment Contracts of those employees you have directed to obtain accreditation
  • —Monitor accreditation expiry dates and set reminders to go out to employees before their accreditation expires
  • —Budget for accreditation and re-accreditation costs

For more advice on WHS issues, contact us at HR Tactics.

0406 146 116