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What or Who is a PCBU?

Good question!  It's one of a raft of new terminologies in the new Work Health and Safety Act & Regulations which took effect on 1 January 2012 in New South Wales, Queensland, ACT and NT.  

South Australia and Tasmania enacted their new Work Health & Safety Act & Regulations effective from 1 January 2013.

A "PCBU" is an acronym for a "person conducting a business or undertaking".

How does this differ from an employer?

You may be a "PCBU" under the new laws even if you are not classified as an "employer" under the current legislation.  A PCBU now includes:
  • employers
  • sole traders
  • bodies corporate
  • unincorporated bodies
  • associations
  • partnerships
  • volunteer organisations with any employed  workers

However, the regulations  exclude a "person" from being a PCBU.  A volunteer organisation without any paid employees such as a social club will not be a PCBU.  Any payments for carrying out volunteer work would constitute a wage or salary and mean that the person is not a volunteer, but out of pocket expenses are not classified as wages.

 You will  need to consider and plan for and revise your health and safety management systems to make sure you cover your organisation and your workers.

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