Fair Work legislation — analysis

Analysis

Fair Work legislation — analysis

WorkplaceInfo will continue to publish analytical articles on the Fair Work Bill to alert employers to the matters that need action and the issues that should be considered as the commencement of much of the legislation in 2009 approaches.

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WorkplaceInfo will continue to publish analytical articles on the Fair Work Bill to alert employers to the matters that need action and the issues that should be considered as the commencement of much of the legislation in 2009 approaches.
 
Our writing resources include IR consultant, Paul Munro, specialist employment law firm, Australian Business Lawyers, and Dick Grozier, director of Australian Business Industrial (affiliated with NSW Business Chamber). A view on the new legislation from an HR perspective will be provided by Mike Toten, HR consultant.
 
Timing of the legislation
 
Dick Grozier noted that the legislative package is only partly released:
‘The Federal Government tabled its Fair Work Bill 2008 on 25 November 2008. It intends to get the Bill through parliament by mid-March 2009 and to have most of its new system to come into effect on 1 July 2009.
 
The government plans another Bill dealing with transitional arrangements and consequential changes to be tabled late February or early March 2009 and to also have that Bill passed in time for a 1 July start.
 
Depending on the attitude of individual states the new legislation will cover all employers in the state, all employers in that state's private sector or (at least) employers that are currently "federal system" employers.
 
The states will make their minds up about whether they will refer any or all of the state system employers in their state after the legislation is passed.
 
It is very likely the Bill will be changed in some ways during the parliamentary process. However, the heart of the Bill is its reliance on, and strong encouragement of, collective enterprise bargaining; and that fact is unlikely to alter with any amendments.
 
The role of the AIRC for awards, disputes and unfair dismissals and the role of the Workplace Authority for agreements will be taken over by Fair Work Australia (FWA), a new body which will be established by the Bill. FWA is intended to commence on 1 July 2009.’
The Bill can be found online.
 
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