New IR Bill gets Royal Assent

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New IR Bill gets Royal Assent

The Federal Government's transitional industrial relations legislation has received Royal Assent, and is now awaiting proclamation.

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The Federal Government's transitional industrial relations legislation has received Royal Assent, and is now awaiting proclamation.

It is expected to come into operation soon, possibly this week.

‘No disadvantage’

The legislation outlaws all future AWAs, sets up interim individual agreements (ITEAs) that expire on 31 December 2009 and have a no-disadvantage test, and sets the award modernisation process in motion.

The legislation passed through both Houses of Parliament last week.

A key component of the legislation will be the regulations that will set out how the Act is to operate in practice.

Many of the regulations under the WorkChoices legislation were at the discretion of the Minister and could be changed without reference to Parliament.

When this was revealed there were expressions of concern that such latitude (which was aimed against unions) could under Labor Ministers prove a problem for business if reversed, so employer groups are awaiting the regulations with interest.

Can still lodge AWAs

Whenever the legislation is proclaimed, employers will still be able to lodge AWAs already made for up to 14 days after the legislation commences.

However from then, no new AWAs can be made.


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