Better leave entitlements under WA IR changes

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Better leave entitlements under WA IR changes

About 300,000 Western Australian workers are to benefit from new State industrial relations legislation that commenced on 4 July and provides for long service leave entitlements and unpaid parental leave entitlements in the private sector.

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About 300,000 Western Australian workers are to benefit from new State industrial relations legislation that commenced on 4 July and provides for long service leave entitlements and unpaid parental leave entitlements in the private sector.

Employment Protection Minister John Bowler said the changes to minimum leave entitlements were imperative in light of an increasingly competitive labour market.

'There is no doubt that employers with flexible working arrangements have an edge over competitors in terms of attracting and retaining staff,' he said.

LSL after 10 years

Private sector employees will now be entitled to take long service leave after 10 years of service, with a pro rata entitlement on termination of employment after seven years.

Unpaid parental leave

Employees can request up to 104 weeks' unpaid parental leave, and to return to work after parental leave on modified working arrangements such as part-time work.

Bowler said that in addition to improving minimum leave entitlements, the legislation also helped protect WA workers from the WorkChoices legislation.

Amending legislation

The Labour Relations Legislation Amendment Act 2006 (that made the long service leave changes) amends various Acts to:

  • provide for reasonable hours of work under the Minimum Conditions of Employment Act 1993 (MCE Act);
  • make minor amendments to the right of entry provisions under the Industrial Relations Act 1979 (IR Act);
  • enable the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission (WAIRC) to independently set wages for State-based employees under awards and the MCE Act;
  • enable an employer or a union seeking to make a federal collective agreement to initiate good faith bargaining under the IR Act;
  • prohibit employers from requiring or unduly pressuring employees to contract-out of annual leave under the MCE Act;
  • improve minimum parental leave, sick leave, carer's leave and bereavement leave entitlements under the MCE Act;
  • improve long service leave entitlements under the Long Service Leave Act 1958 (LSL Act) and the Construction industry Portable Paid Long Service Leave Act 1985 (Construction Act);
  • abolish the Long Service Leave General Order of the WAIRC;
  • enhance Industrial Inspectors' powers under the LSL Act; and
  • designate the MCE Act's and LSL Act's record-keeping provisions as civil penalty provisions, instead of offence provisions.

Synopsis of legislation is at this website.

Related

Pay and conditions page

WA teachers accept pay offer

Meanwhile the State School Teachers' Union of Western Australia has accepted the State Government's offer of a minimum 9% pay increase over the next two years.

Education and Training Minister Ljiljanna Ravlich said the new agreement also addresses workload concerns, class sizes, teacher support and improved conditions such as more Duties Other Than Teaching (DOTT) time. She said the new Teachers' and Administrators Agreement provides additional incentives to attract quality teachers to remote and regional areas.

Under the terms of the new agreement, graduate teachers working in some remote areas could expect a total salary package of more than $62,000.

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