Industrial relations amendment act 2000 (nsw)


Industrial relations amendment act 2000 (nsw)

Having passed through both Houses of Parliament on 29 June 2000, the Industrial Relations Amendment Act 2000was assented to on 12 July 2000.


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Having passed through both Houses of Parliament on 29 June 2000, the Industrial Relations Amendment Act 2000was assented to on 12 July 2000. The Crown Solicitor has advised that the Industrial Relations Amendment Act 2000will commence 9 October 2000. This Actmakes a number of miscellaneous amendments to the Industrial Relations Act 1996. They predominantly relate to:

The commencement of awards (s15)

Section 15of the Actrelates to the commencement of awards. The section provides that an award can be expressed to apply retrospectively, on the condition that it applies no earlier than the date on which proceedings for the award were commenced. The section is amended so as to provide that a project award or an award relating to one or more associated employees may, with the consent of the relevant parties, commence retrospectively from an earlier date.

Application of the 'net-detriment' test in approving enterprise agreements (s35)

Section 35of the Actoutlines the conditions or criteria which must be considered by the Commission prior to approving an enterprise agreement. One of those criteria is the "no-detriment" test, which requires the Commission to approve an enterprise agreement only if the agreement does not, on balance, result in a net detriment to the employees when compared with the aggregate package of conditions of employment under the relevant State award that would otherwise apply to the employees. The amendment to s35clarifies the application of the 'no-detriment' test in relation to the approval of enterprise agreements that apply to employees to whom a Federal award appliesor to employees to whom no award (State or Federal) applies.

The minimum term of an enterprise agreement (s42)

Section 42(2) is amended to dispense with the requirement that the minimum term for which an enterprise agreement can be made to apply is 12 months.

Extending parental leave to casual employees (s53 and s57)

In its current form the Industrial Relations Act 1996provides 12 months' unpaid maternity, paternity or adoption leave (parental leave) to all employees other than casual or seasonal employees. The amendments to s53and s57extend that entitlement to casual employees who work for an employer on a regular and systematic basis, who have a reasonable expectation of on-going employment, and who have had 24 months of continuous service.

The application of the unfair dismissal jurisdiction (s83)

The amendment to s83enables those employees to whom Federal awards apply to commence unfair dismissal claims before the State Commission under the State Act, only if they are unable to apply to the Federal Commission for relief under the Federal Act.

Extending the period of 6 months during which an injured worker cannot be dismissed (s99)

At present s99of the Actprovides that it is an offence to dismiss an injured worker (one whose circumstances could give rise to an entitlement to workers compensation) within 6 months after the employee first becomes unfit for work. The amendment to s99(1)(b) and the insertion of s99(1A) extends that period of 6 months to any longer period of accident pay to which the injured employee is entitled under a Commonwealth or State industrial instrument.

Superannuation fund contributions (s124)

Section 124presently provides that where an industrial instrument requires an employer to make superannuation contributions to a designated fund on behalf of an employee, the employer can at the employee's request contribute to an alternate fund selected by the employee. The amendment to s124allows an employee to revoke a nomination and therefore require an employer to re-direct the contributions back to the fund specified in the industrial instrument.

Records kept by employers concerning employees (s129)

Section 129is amended to dispense with the requirement that an employer must obtain the permission of the Industrial Registrar to keep employee records at a place other than the workplace.

Right of entry for investigating breaches (s298)

In instances where an authorised industrial officer wishes to investigate a suspected breach of an industrial instrument or legislation notice must be given to an employer for right of entry into a workplace. Section 298(3) has been amended to reduce the requisite notice required from 48 hours to 24 hours. The amendments provide employers with a further 24 hours if the employer is required to produce records or other documents that are not kept at the workplace.

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