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Truly global and proudly local, we've been serving Australia for over 25 years with offices in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney.

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Work Health Safety & Wellbeing in 2024 and Beyond | Robert Walters

Throughout 2023, we've seen significant legislative workplace reforms come into effect with more due this year, that demonstrate our respective Government’s role to this focus through education, compliance and enforcement.

The guidance from Australian and New Zealand national advisory and regulatory bodies is consistent in their research and communications for health and safety regarding persistent and emerging challenges organisations will need to manage going forward. These being -

Managing psychosocial risks

Such as high work demands, low job support, and harmful behaviours in the workplace. Managing these risks not only protects workers, it decreases disruption and can improve organisational performance and productivity.

In 2023 the focus shifted towards how employers prevent these risks in the workplace, with psychosocial risk regulations now in force in most Australian jurisdictions, The New Zealand Government’s Health and Safety at Work Strategy (2018–2028), new managing psychosocial hazards at work code of practice and guidance, and unsurprisingly, for 2024 an increase in regulatory focus and activities. Our work this year continues with awareness, risk management, reporting mechanisms, and improving wellbeing information and supports such as PerkBox and EAP.

Health and safety vulnerability

To consider the needs of all workers in developing and updating safe systems of work. Factors known to affect workers’ vulnerability include being younger, working alone, being from a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) background or working in a more complex contractual chain e.g. Labour hire. Our focus is to build policy and process that increase our people’s awareness, training on WHS risks, knowledge of WHS rights and responsibilities, consultation and access to wellbeing information and supports.

Small business need additional support

Small businesses represent a large proportion of both Australian and New Zealand business. Costs, resources and understanding of WHS requirements, and ensuring the health and safety of their workers is challenging for SMEs. For Robert Walters, SMEs are an important client cohort and our work in 2024 will see us collaborate and coordinate more on WHS resources to improving WHS skills and capacity.

New types of work

The nature of work is changing with a growing number of workers having multiple jobs and working locations. Our work in this space is about risk management, and ensuring duties, roles and responsibilities under the WHS laws are clearly understood and are operating.

Rise of AI, automation and related technologies

New technology capabilities can and are already bringing many benefits including safer work and workplaces. At Robert Walters, we continue our focus on optimising our business with new technology - in our recruitment, communications, the engagement with our people, and reporting and analyses of our performance data.

Workforce demographic shifts Where new WHS risks are likely to emerge e.g. Age demographics, workers with CALD backgrounds. Here it is about continually improving health and safety systems and quality of consultation, to ensure safe working environments for all workers.

Hybrid work

2024 employment trends show advancing the ability to work with geographically dispersed teams and attracting talent from anywhere in the world. In addition, modern flexible work arrangements that mutually meet both employers and employees’ needs in these new work environments. Our WHS team do a lot of work in this area, risk assessing different work arrangements and see this continuing through 2024.

Climate-related risks

Extreme weather events and infectious diseases at work risks are going to be an ongoing focus for organisations, ensuring appropriate control measures are in place to manage risks. Our work here revolves around awareness, reporting, timely communications, for example, our LEO chatbot, and risk management to ensure our people are not exposed to these risks.


A big year ahead, as you can see, and we look forward to working with and supporting you throughout 2024.

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