Partnerships - impact of WorkChoices

Q&A

Partnerships - impact of WorkChoices

What impact does WorkChoices have on partnerships operating in different States and partnerships that become incorporated?

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What impact does WorkChoices have on partnerships operating in different States and partnerships that become incorporated?

Two Q and As below highlight these issues.

Partnership operating in three States

Q. Our business is currently a partnership but we have decided to become 'incorporated'. I understand the business is now covered under the WorkChoices legislation (our intention). What is the impact on our employees' conditions of employment?

A. The employees working in the Victorian branch of the practice would be covered by the WorkChoices legislation as this applies to all employers and employees employed in Victoria, Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory. However, the WorkChoices legislation does not apply in any of the other States if the employer is an unincorporated body.

This means staff employed in the New South Wales and Queensland branches of the practice would have their minimum conditions of employment determined by the relevant State award(s) and relevant State employment legislation.

In the situation described, employees of the practice employed in New South Wales and Queensland would also have access to the relevant State unfair dismissal legislation, whereas the Victorian employees in the practice would not have access to unfair dismissal laws if the practice employed 100 employees or fewer.

Partnership decides to incorporate

Q. Our business is currently a partnership but we have decided to become 'incorporated'. I understand the business is now covered under the WorkChoices legislation (our intention). What is the impact on our employees' conditions of employment?

A. WorkChoices would view this change as a transmission of business, therefore the changes would depend on the industrial instrument that applied at the time WorkChoices was introduced.

If the employees were covered under a Federal award the existing arrangement will continue to operate for a maximum period of 12 months.

If not terminated or replaced after that period the employees will be covered by any other instrument the employer is bound by and is capable of applying.

However, if the employees were covered under a State award at the introduction of WorkChoices, their conditions of employment would be determined by the Australian Fair Pay and Conditions Standard and other minimum provisions prescribed under the Federal Workplace Relations Act.

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