The short answer is YES! Organisations must provide lunch rooms in the workplace. The Australian Worksafe Code of Compliance sets out what employers must provide. The Code says that facilities and amenities are important for the basic health, safety and welfare of employees.
Everyone knows that employees perform better in a positive space. A clean, tidy and comfortable workspace will benefit your team’s:
- general wellbeing.
But how do you know what you need to provide?
What are workplace facilities and amenities exactly?
They include personal considerations such as:
- dining rooms
- change rooms
- drinking water
- personal storage
- washing facilities
They also include work environment considerations such as:
- air quality
What workplace facilities and amenities should you provide?
Each workplace is different and it can depend on the:
- the type of industry
- the activities or operations carried out in the workplace.
The first step is to work out what your employees need for the specific working environment they are in. You need to provide the basic necessities like:
- tea and coffee
- toilet paper
- a place to heat up food
- a clean place to eat etc.
But you aren’t required to provide everything under the sun!
For example – you don’t have to cater for all dietary requirements when supplying milk for tea and coffee.
But you do have to maintain whatever facilities and amenities you provide. No one wants to walk into a kitchen full of dirty dishes or use a filthy toilet every day.
Are employers required to provide a smoking area for employees?
The answer is no, they’re not. Employers have no obligation to provide a specific area or equipment for smokers to use.
But employers do not want a gaggle of employees loitering around the front of their building. This would not be a good look.
So, a well thought-out and detailed smoking policy can set out:
- where you want your employees to smoke
- how far away you would like them to stand from your building.
Top tips for providing workplace facilities and amenities
So our top tips for providing a happy, safe and super supportive workplace are:
- Adequate Male AND Female toilets. People generally don’t want to share with the opposite sex. One toilet between 40 staff is probably not enough
- A nice, quiet lunch room with a microwave, fridge for storing lunches, and a dining table
- A range of amenities, including tea and coffee, biscuits, snacks etc. And a a coffee machine if you are really nice…
- An inviting open plan office space. With windows and properly set-up equipment and good ergonomic chairs. No one wants to work on top of each other so give each person the space they need to do a great job.
- Comfortable temperature. Good heating or cooling is always a good idea. But it is sometimes not possible when you have a factory environment. If you are working in hot conditions during summer, we recommend starting earlier. And consider providing cold cordial, or even icy poles.
The bottom line for workplace amenities
If you find yourself questioning what you need to provide your employees:
If you have any questions give HR Gurus a call on 1300 959 560 where our qualified and experienced team are here to help!