Fair Work — legislation and awards update

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Fair Work — legislation and awards update

As 1 January 2010 approaches and the commencement of the National Employment Standards and modern awards from that date, both employers and employees need to be aware of the state of play with the relevant legislation and relevant tribunal activities.

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As 1 January 2010 approaches and the commencement of the National Employment Standards and modern awards from that date, both employers and employees need to be aware of the state of play with the relevant legislation and relevant tribunal activities.
 
Here is an overview of what’s happening with legislation in train and the proceedings of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission.
 
Fair Work (State Referrals and Other Measures) Bill
 
On 21 October, the Federal Government introduced into the House of Representatives the Fair Work Amendment (State Referrals and Other Measures) Bill 2009.
 
The main purpose of the Bill is to enable states to refer workplace relations matters to the Commonwealth under s51 (xxxvii) of the Constitution and provide for necessary transitional provisions for transferring state employers and employees.
 
Queensland, South Australia, and Tasmania are currently the only states to have necessary referral legislation before their Parliaments. Victoria’s existing referral will continue under the Bill (subject to some modification as a result of Victoria’s amending legislation currently before its Parliament).
 
The Bill will also deal with other states if they decide to refer their powers before 1 January 2010.
 
 
Fair Work (State Referrals and Other Measures) Bill — Senate Committee Inquiry
 
On 29 October 2009, the Senate referred the Fair Work Amendment (State Referrals and Other Measures) Bill 2009 for inquiry and report. Submissions should be received by today, 6 November 2009. The reporting date is 16 November 2009.
 
The Bill will apply differently depending on the details of the state referral legislation.
 
 
Award Modernisation — Stage IV Awards update
 
On 25 September, the Full Bench published a Statement including a further 29 exposure drafts. The Full Bench held further consultations from 26–30 October in Sydney and 4 November in Melbourne.
 
The final date for making modern awards is 4 December 2009.
 
 
Miscellaneous Award
 
The AIRC’s exposure draft Miscellaneous Award has the potential to significantly expand award coverage into areas that have traditionally been award-free (including senior, managerial and professional occupations).
 
The AIRC Full Bench has been hearing submissions relating to the final form of the award from interested parties over October.
 
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