Federal ir reforms not relevant: full bench

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Federal ir reforms not relevant: full bench

The Federal Minister for Industrial Relations, Mr Reith, has unsuccessfully argued before a Full Bench of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission that the Commission should take account of the Government’s proposed amendments to the federal legislation.

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The Federal Minister for Industrial Relations, Mr Reith, has unsuccessfully argued before a Full Bench of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission that the Commission should take account of the Government’s proposed amendments to the federal legislation.

The Minister was intervening in an application by a number of unions for the insertion of the wage rates from an expired certified agreement into an existing Qantas/Ansett paid rates award.

The Minister argued that paid rates awards are no longer an appropriate form of employment regulation, and that under the Government’s proposed legislation (Workplace Relations Bill 1996) existing paid rates awards will, over time, be converted into minimum rates awards:

"Paid rates awards are no longer suitable and this will be reflected in new Commonwealth industrial relations legislation."

The Full Bench decided to reject the Minister’s submission. The Full Bench noted the Government’s proposed changes to the federal industrial laws, but stated:

"However, we believe we are obliged to give effect to the Act in its present form."

The Commission proceeded to grant the unions’ application:

"We consider the variations will maintain the paid rates awards and, in our view, are in furtherance of the objects in the [Industrial Relations] Act."

 
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