Govt confident IR laws will survive High Court challenge

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Govt confident IR laws will survive High Court challenge

The Federal Government remains confident its new IR legislation will survive a challenge in the High Court.

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The Federal Government remains confident its new IR legislation will survive a challenge in the High Court. 

NSW announced yesterday it would mount a challenge, and is expected to be joined by the other states (except Victoria, which has already ceded its IR powers to the federal government) and the union movement. 

Conflicting views on Corporations power

In Parliament Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrews quoted the words one of the NSW union movement’s legal advisers in arguing the High Court challenge would fail. 

Andrews said the Secretary of Unions New South Wales, John Robertson, had said: ‘Our legal advisers, which include former Justice of the Supreme Court, Jeff Shaw, are telling us that there are good grounds for a High Court challenge to these laws.’ 

Andrews said that in 2000 Shaw had delivered a paper to a Business Council of Australia seminar on a national workplace relations system in which he said:  

‘ … the corporations power has been liberally interpreted by the High Court and can sustain legislation designed to regulate the employment relationships between a corporation and its workforce …  

‘… Industry and commerce increasingly crosses historically determined state boundaries. The wages and conditions of employees are relevant to national economic considerations and it will often be convenient for both employers and unions to have uniform national conditions.’

‘So Mr Shaw not only had no problem with the constitutional validity of a national workplace relations system but, more importantly, was saying in 2000 that there are substantial and significant economic benefits to Australia,’ Andrews said. 

Australian Business Limited opposes High Court challenge

Meanwhile a major employer organisation says it is disappointed with the NSW Government’s decision to challenge the IR legislation. 

‘This legislation is vital for the continued growth and prosperity of the Australian economy,’ said Mark Bethwaite, Australian Business Limited (ABL) Chief Executive. 

‘The NSW Premier has shown that he would prefer to drag this legislation through the High Court and in so doing create uncertainty for employers and employees. 

‘Instead of a smooth transition from a fragmented industrial relations system to a simpler, single national system, we now face uncertainty from this unnecessary High Court challenge.’

 

 

Related 

NSW first to challenge new IR laws in High Court

 

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