IR news briefs 26/6/03


IR news briefs 26/6/03

Federal laws start moving; Goward warns on dysfunctional society; NRL compo strife; Adoption leave on the way up; NSW council workers may lose transmission protection; Union safety co-ordinator dies; Remuneration tribunal has new President.


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Federal laws start moving; Goward warns on dysfunctional society; NRL compo strife; Adoption leave on the way up; NSW council workers may lose transmission protection; Union safety co-ordinator dies; Remuneration tribunal has new President.

Emergency services moves to Senate

Proposed new laws protecting emergency services workers passed the House of Representatives yesterday.

The Workplace Relation Amendment Protection for Emergency Management Volunteers Bill 2003 makes it unlawful to terminate employees who are absent carrying out emergency services work.

The Bill is also expected to pass the Senate.

Transmission of business may face opposition

Proposed transmission of business laws moved from the House of Representatives to the Senate where they may face modification.

The Workplace Relations Amendment Transmission of Business Bill 2002 allows the AIRC to order that a certified agreement pertaining to a company that is handing over its business to another company does not apply to the other company.

The Company that is handing over the business can apply to the AIRC before the transmission takes place. The new employer, employees and unions can apply at the time of or from transmission.

The AIRC can order that part of the agreement applies or applies for a stated time.

Termination Bill debate not likely until August

The Federal Workplace Relations Amendment Termination of Employment Bill scheduled for debate in the Senate before the end of this Federal Parliamentary sitting is likely to be pushed back to August, the ALP said today. 

Avoid dysfunctional societies: Goward

Failing to support working families produces dysfunctional families as well as dysfunctional societies, according to Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner Prue Goward.

Responding to the ACTU Work and Family Test Case, she said: ‘This issue represents a huge industrial challenge for Australia with crucial social implications.’

‘We need to better enable men and women to improve their combined work and family responsibilities so they are not struggling to balance these dual pressures.’ 

League players slip through compo gap

Rugby league players want a National Insurance fund to cover all senior and junior rugby league players for financial losses due to injury.

Rugby League Professionals Association President Tony Butterfield said: ‘The current situation is that NRL players are responsible for their own insurance, while anomalies, and gaps in coverage exist within the junior ranks.

‘Currently no senior club offers insurance under the standard NRL contract, making it a matter for the player to sort out and in nearly all cases players, in the absence of WorkCover, are not insured for injury or loss of income due to the high cost.’

According to Butterfield, in the case of juniors, the coverage that exists in the junior competition may not exist in other Rugby League bodies.

‘The upshot is that young players may find themselves on the field without injury protection, because of the lack of a national scheme, with our fear being that this could have implications for junior participation rates.’

The Players Association wants the NRL, ARL, QRL, NSWRL and Country Rugby Leagues to convene a summit with the stakeholders to ‘thrash out’ the issue and work toward developing the national insurance coverage', he said.

NSW Adoption leave laws in legislative Council

The Industrial Relations Amendment Adoption Leave Bill 2003 which extends the adoption leave rights for the adoption of children up to age 18 is waiting for its second reading speech in the Legislative Council.

NSW Council transfer laws seek to change employment conditions, says union

NSW Council employees transferred between Councils due to amalgamations or boundary changes may no longer be able to keep their existing employment conditions, according to the Municipal Employees Union.

Currently, transferred Council employees can keep their existing employment conditions for up to three years an until a new award or agreement is reached.

According to the union, the NSW Government has introduced legislation that seeks to enable Councils to vary employment conditions of transferred employees, subject to a ‘no net detriment test’, immediately upon the transfer of employees.

CFMEU safety co-ordinator dies

CFMEU NSW Safety Co-ordinator Brian Miller died yesterday from cancer. 

Brian Miller was an official of the CFMEU for over 30 years.

New Remuneration Tribunal President announced

John Conde AO has been appointed the new President of the Remuneration Tribunal for a five-year term. He was first appointed as a member of the Tribunal on 18 June, 1998.

Conde previously worked as Chairperson and Managing Director of Broadcast Investment Holdings Pty Ltd, Chairperson of the NSW Electricity Commission, and Director of BHP Billiton Limited.


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