Legislation update - federal and WA

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Legislation update - federal and WA

Legislative and related news: small business redundancy payments ruling to be reversed; Independent Contractors Report tabled; WA IRC to be streamlined; and National Inquiry into Employment and Disability interim report has been released.

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Legislative and related news: small business redundancy payments ruling to be reversed; Independent Contractors Report tabled; WA IRC to be streamlined; and National Inquiry into Employment and Disability interim report has been released.

Small Business Redundancy Payments to be reversed

Last week the Workplace Relations Amendment (Small Business Employment Protection) Bill 2004 was passed by the House of Representatives.

This Bill will restore the small business exemption from paying redundancy/severance pay in federal awards. It will override the AIRC decision in 2004.

Related

Federal redundancy provisions: the details

Independent Contractors Report tabled

A report titled ‘Independent Contracting and Labour Hire: Making it Work’ was tabled by a House of Representatives Standing Committee.

The majority of the Committee supported the retention of the common law status of independent contractors.

The Committee downplayed the role of industrial laws on independent contractors - stating that commercial considerations should override them.

Related

Contractors report ‘nobbled before it began’ say Labor dissenters

WA IRC to be streamlined

The Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission (WAIRC) is being reformed.

WA Consumer and Employment Protection Minister John Kobelke introduced the Industrial Relations Amendment Bill 2005 in Parliament last week.

Kobelke said two successive independent reviews had recommended that the Full Bench of the Commission and the president’s position be abolished to streamline the operations of the Commission.

‘The current president retires on 5 October, so we have the opportunity to appoint a new president on an acting basis while we carry out that restructure,’ he said.

Kobelke said the Bill would also designate the chief commissioner as administrative head of the Commission and provide greater powers to delegate duties to other commission members.

He said the Bill would enable industrial inspectors to use their powers under the IR Act to investigate suspected breaches of the Minimum Conditions of Employment Act 1993.

‘While inspectors may currently bring court proceedings to enforce minimum conditions, they cannot use their statutory powers to investigate suspected breaches,’ Kobelke said.

Related

WA IR legislation

National Inquiry into Employment and Disability - interim report

The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) has released an interim Report on its’ National Inquiry into Employment and Disability.

The Inquiry is due for completion by the end of the year.

The purpose of the Interim Report is to: summarise the concerns and suggestions contained in the submissions; make interim recommendations; and propose actions for the remaining months of the inquiry.

Details

A full copy of the report can be found here.

An executive summary including recommendations and next steps can be found here.

Comments and submissions

HREOC has called for comments and submissions on the Interim Report and Recommendations. The deadline is Friday 30 September 2005.

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