Operation of workplace relations act

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Operation of workplace relations act

The federal Minister for Industrial Relations, Peter Reith, recently provided the following statistics on the operation of a number of areas of the federal Government’s Workplace Relations Act 1996.

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The federal Minister for Industrial Relations, Peter Reith, recently provided the following statistics on the operation of a number of areas of the federal Government’s Workplace Relations Act 1996.

Agreements: As at 8 April 1997, 807 certified agreements (including 14 non-union certified agreements) had been approved.

The Minister stated: "Some of these agreements have been approved under the transitional provisions but in all cases they are subject to the new compliance provisions of the new Act, which allows direct access to the Federal Court in the event of industrial action during the operation of the agreement"

Recent legal advice from the Government suggests that bargaining periods initiated under the previous Act lapsed with the introduction of the new Act. Consequently, parties seeking to take protected industrial action in connection with the making of a certified agreement will need to initiate a new bargaining period under the new Act - they cannot rely on bargaining periods initiated under the former Act.

Since the AWA provisions only started on 12 March, it is still too early to obtain useful data. However, there has been approximately 7000 requests for the AWA information kit.

Sec 127applications:Approximately forty-four applications under s127have been lodged. Section 127allows the Commission to stop industrial action which is happening or may happen in relation to an industrial dispute, the negotiations of a non-union certified agreement, or work that is regulated by an award or certified agreement.

The following parties have successfully requested the Commission ban industrial action: Mobil (6 months); Capricorn Coal (3 months); Metro Meats (6 months); Southcorp (3 months); David Syme; Timber Trades Industrial Association (6 months); and, Minister for Education (Victoria) (for 15 months).

Unfair dismissals: The total number of unfair dismissal applications to the federal jurisdiction have dropped from 3218 to 1299 in the first twelve weeks of this year compared with the corresponding twelve weeks of 1996.

 

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