NSW IRC to be able to hear national disputes

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NSW IRC to be able to hear national disputes

The NSW Government is to introduce legislation to allow the State IRC to jointly sit with other State or Territory Commissions to hear industrial cases of national importance.

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The NSW Government is to introduce legislation to allow the State IRC to jointly sit with other State or Territory Commissions to hear industrial cases of national importance.

Industrial Relations Minister John Della Bosca said this would allow the State tribunals to take over the roles and functions that WorkChoices had stripped from the AIRC.

'WorkChoices is denying workers and businesses the independent processes that have successfully resolved workplace disputes and wage setting for decades,' he said. 'Wage fixing and test case roles have been removed from the AIRC and replaced with a conflict-ridden and costly system.'

Alternative

Della Bosca said it was essential that State and Territory tribunals have an effective alternative avenue to achieve consistent wage increases and to consider new community standards through test cases.

'Under the legislation it will be possible for commissions to hear evidence and submissions at a single hearing, rather than requiring parties and witnesses to attend hearings in each State and Territory,' he said. 'The NSW Government will also accredit the NSW IRC as an alternative dispute resolution provider for WorkChoices, as it is important for workers and businesses to have an alternative resolution provider they have confidence in.'

No endorsement

Della Bosca said this was in no way an endorsement of WorkChoices 'but the fact is, disputes arising under these new laws will need to be resolved.'

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