News wrap, 07/06/12


News wrap, 07/06/12

Amendments to Qld IR Act passed in Parliament | FWBC secures enforceable undertaking after sham contracting breach | Vic teachers and principals to strike.


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Amendments to Qld IR Act passed in Parliament | FWBC secures enforceable undertaking after sham contracting breachVic teachers and principals to strike.

Amendments to Qld IR Act passed in Parliament
Amendments to the Qld Industrial Relations Act 1999 have passed in State Parliament.

The Industrial Relations (Fair Work Harmonisation) and Other Legislation Bill 2012 was introduced to Parliament in May and referred to the Finance and Administration Committee.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Jarrod Bleijie said the Bill reflected the government’s desire to have a balanced and responsible approach to public sector wages.

‘The Act has been amended to require the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) to give consideration to the State’s financial position when making wage decisions,’ Bleijie said.

‘Our approach will maintain the independence of the QIRC.’

‘Many of these new arrangements mirror the provisions of the Fair Work Act and further harmonise the State system with the Federal System.’

‘The Government also addressed the Committee’s concern that processes which have already started would be concluded under previous arrangements.’

The amendments also give employees a chance to have their say on proposed industrial action in support of certified agreement negotiations.

The changes will also allow an employer to put an enterprise bargaining offer directly to employees for their consideration.

The majority of the provisions in the Bill will apply upon assent from the Governor.

FWBC secures enforceable undertaking after sham contracting breach
Fair Work Building and Construction (FWBC) has reached an out-of-court resolution, following an investigation into allegations of sham contracting by a Queensland joinery company.

FWBC found that the North Gold Coast joinery business (known as Tasklake Pty Ltd) misrepresented to three workers that they were independent contractors, when they should have been classified as employees.

The directors of the business, James and Glen McFarlane, signed an Enforceable Undertaking (included in the online version) admitting to the contravention of s357 of the Fair Work Act 2009.

The business, back paid the three workers a total of $22,726, and has agreed to pay $250 compensation to each worker and issue written apologies. The business will also make a monetary contribution to Caxton Legal Centre. The directors have agreed to undertake training and improve their systems so that they comply with Federal workplace laws.
The directors must also report detailed information about Tasklake’s workforce to FWBC at the end of every financial year for the next three years.

FWBC chief executive Leigh Johns said Enforceable Undertakings are one of the many compliance tools available to the agency.

Vic teachers and principals to strike
Victorian public school teachers and principals will stop work today in further pursuit of reducing contract employment, lowering class sizes, lifting salaries and addressing workload issues.

Up to 10,000 Vic teachers and principals are expected to attend a stop work rally at Melbourne’s Hisense Arena today, with regional rallies also to be held in Mildura and Wodonga.
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