New nsw ir bill to safeguard state system & encourage enterprise bargaining: shaw

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New nsw ir bill to safeguard state system & encourage enterprise bargaining: shaw

The proposed NSW Industrial Relations Bill (IRC Decision 1015/1989; [1989] 1015 IRCommA) to be introduced into the Parliament in April is designed to protect the NSW State industrial relations system so as to avoid "leakage" of unfair dismissal matters into the federal jurisdiction, the Minister for Industrial Relations, Jeff Shaw, told a meeting of employers today.

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The proposed NSW Industrial Relations Bill (IRC Decision 1015/1989; [1989] 1015 IRCommA) to be introduced into the Parliament in April is designed to protect the NSW State industrial relations system so as to avoid "leakage" of unfair dismissal matters into the federal jurisdiction, the Minister for Industrial Relations, Jeff Shaw, told a meeting of employers today.

Speaking at a combined Chemical and Pharmaceutical Industries Conference entitled "Industrial Relations Reform and Your Business" convened by Australian Business at North Sydney, the Minister also stated that the new Bill is designed to restrict appeals and referrals to the Court on questions of law. The new Bill will eliminate the several tiers of the process of appeal which currently exist. The ability to appeal will remain, however, it will only be available with leave of the Full Bench, in an attempt to eliminate vexatious and time consuming appeals. This approach will be similar to the federal model.

The Minister stated that the new Bill will be designed to promote and encourage co-operation by removing barriers and to encourage a change in culture at many workplaces, possibly with suggestions from the Commission. The Minister indicated that third parties may be able to assist in this instance.

The Minister announced the formation of a "Workplace Reform Unit" to guide and assist parties with problems that arise in the workplace during enterprise bargaining and assist in the process of cultural change in the workplace.

Acknowledging the difficulties experienced by employers with respect to the time taken to register enterprise agreements, and the often uninvited interference of third parties in the registration process, the Minister stated that the new process will not be judicial or unnecessarily administrative or bureaucratic in nature. Rather, enterprise agreements will come before the Commission in an open hearing and assertions would be made on transcript by the parties and considered by the Commission. A ‘no net detriment’ test will apply. The process would be informal and the hearings would be short and simple and address all important issues.

The Minister further noted that the Government could foresee no real problems regarding responsible wage claims keeping pace with inflation, maintaining a safety net to protect low paid workers, or wage claims linked to productivity, but could see serious problems emerging in the event of a 15 per cent wage claim being pursued in the public sector.

 

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