Qld passes IR referral laws


Qld passes IR referral laws

The Queensland Parliament has passed legislation referring its industrial relations powers to the Commonwealth.


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The Queensland Parliament has passed legislation referring its industrial relations powers to the Commonwealth.
The legislation passed on Wednesday night, and means that private sector employers and employees will be under the new Fair Work Australia workplace relations system, probably from 1 January 2010.
Industrial Relations Minister Cameron Dick said the legislation gave private sector employees and employers access to a fair, balanced and equitable system of industrial relations, overseen by an independent umpire.
‘Employers can now operate under a seamless system where they know that their obligations in Queensland are no different from those in most other states,’ Dick said.
Significant confusion
‘The Howard Government’s disastrous WorkChoices experiment created significant confusion for private sector employees and employers about whether they were covered by the state or Commonwealth industrial relations systems.’
‘Under this legislation, the referral of private sector powers to the Commonwealth will remove the confusion for employers and employees and create greater efficiencies in the system by removing duplication between state and Commonwealth systems.’
Dick said there are clear benefits for business and for the economy through the reduction of red tape and the increased productivity that will result from a single national industrial relations system.
He said that under transitional arrangements:
  • pivate sector employees transferring to the national industrial relations system will have their state award or agreement entitlements protected for a transitional period
  • existing industrial instruments will continue to apply to training arrangements for apprentices and trainees, as well as regulating conditions of employment for apprentices and trainees, until Fair Work Australia completes a comprehensive review of all apprentice and trainee arrangements
  • Queensland will have a high degree of control and input within the national system, regarding future changes to law and policy, to protect Queenslanders from any future ideological crusades, such as WorkChoices.
Local govt stays in state system
Public sector and local government workers in Queensland will remain under the state industrial relations system.
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