IR changes - impact unclear

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IR changes - impact unclear

As the debate about the proposed Federal IR changes continues, there are many spects that are still to be clarified.

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As the debate about the proposed Federal IR changes continues, there are many aspects that are still to be clarified. Two are noted here: the future of the AIRC; and the relevance of State legislation.

AIRC numbers won’t be cut – at least not yet, says Andrews

The AIRC is not likely to see a reduction in the number of Commissioners after the Federal Government’s IR changes – at least for the first 6-12 months.

Asked in Parliament if there would be cuts as a result of the reduction in the workload of the Commission, Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrews said it is the President of the AIRC, not the Government, that manages the resources of the AIRC.

‘That being said, it should not be automatically assumed that the Government’s proposed reforms will reduce the overall workload of the AIRC,’ Andrews said.

‘As I have indicated previously, an assessment of the net impact on the workload of the AIRC is unlikely to be made until the Government’s reforms have been in effect for a period of 6 to 12 months.’

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SA IR Minister fears for long service leave

South Australia’s Industrial Relations Minister, Michael Wright, is warning that long service leave could be another entitlement that gets cut if John Howard succeeds with his plans to change the industrial relations system in Australia.

Wright said federal awards provide for 13 weeks long service leave after 15 years, but South Australian legislation provides for 13 weeks after 10 years.

‘John Howard’s attack on workers basic rights looks like slashing the long service leave of South Australians,’ said Mr Wright.

‘Under South Australian laws, workers accrue long service leave of 1.3 weeks of long service leave for every year worked, and they can take that leave on a pro-rata basis after seven years.

‘Under federal awards, workers only accrue long service leave at 0.866 weeks per year of service, and they can only take pro-rata long service leave after 10 years.

‘John Howard’s plan is for South Australians to get less long service leave, and to wait longer for it.’

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