Qld legislation

The federal IR system applies to most Australian employers and their employees, including those in Queensland. The Fair Work Act 2009 covers employers who are 'constitutional corporations' and employers which are 'referred' under federal industrial relations coverage by state legislation.

 
Overview
 
The federal IR system applies to most Australian employers and their employees, including those in Queensland. The Fair Work Act 2009 covers employers who are ‘constitutional corporations’ (in layman’s language this means an incorporated commercial trading business) and employers which are ‘referred’ under federal industrial relations coverage by state legislation (see below). 
 
All States except for Western Australia have referred their industrial relations powers relating to private industry to the Commonwealth, with the intention of  creating a national IR system. This means that employees of all private industry businesses (whether incorporated or not) in Queensland are covered by the Fair Work Act.
 
National system employers include both trading corporations and non-incorporated businesses that are subject to state referral.
 
The Fair Work (Commonwealth Powers) and Other Provisions Act 2009 (Qld) received royal assent on 19 November 2009. The major aspects of the referred industrial relations powers were proclaimed to commence on 31 December 2009, with the effect that employees of all private industry businesses (whether incorporated or not) in Queensland are covered by the Fair Work Act. Employees of government agencies, for example local councils and the State public service, remain covered by the relevant State employment legislation.
 
The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) commenced in most respects on 1 July 2009. The modern award provisions and National Employment Standards commenced on 1 January 2010.
 
Links to relevant Queensland legislation are below. Comments on the more frequently applied pieces of state legislation are immediately below.


Anti-Discrimination Act 1991

The Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 is generally applicable to employers and employees in the jurisdiction and prohibits discrimination against someone because they possess certain attributes. These attributes are set out in section 7 of the Act, and include sex, marital status, pregnancy, parental status, age, race, religion, political belief or activity, trade union activity, and association with, or relation to, a person identified on the basis of any of the above attributes.

The Act provides a number of areas in which discrimination will not be accepted, such as work or work related areas, or education. The Act also provides for a number of specific and general exemptions which may apply to the discriminatory conduct.
 
Child Employment Act 2006
 
The Act became operative from 1 July 2006 and states that an incorporated employer of a child under 18 years who is employed under a federal workplace agreement (ITEA or collective) must ensure the agreement or arrangement under which the child is employed does not disadvantage the child in relation to the child’s employment conditions when compared with the comparable Qld state award or the minimum conditions provided under other state legislation (Industrial Relations Act 1999 (Qld)).
 
This means that where a comparable Qld state award prescribes a relevant junior wage rate greater than the relevant APCS wage rate, the state award wage rate will prevail. The Act also allows a person under 18 years access to the state unfair dismissal laws through the Qld Industrial Relations Commission, regardless of the number of employees employed by the employer.
 
Regulations to the Act stipulate restrictions and exemptions in regards to the minimum age of employment, maximum hours of work, shifts, work breaks, prohibited hours and supervision of a ‘school aged child’, ie a child under 16 years and required to be enrolled at school. Before employment can occur, the child must have authority from the parents to work. Different rules apply to the entertainment industry in Queensland.
 
Long service leave
 
Part 3 of the Industrial Relations Act 1999 [Qld] currently provides minimum long service leave entitlements to all private sector employees in Queensland, ie full-time, part-time, and casual employees, except those employees currently covered by award-derived provisions of a federal award or an agreement. The Fair Work legislation adopts state long service leave legislation as the source of long service leave entitlements for employees working under the federal system.
 
Public holidays
 
The declaration of public holidays in Queensland is covered by the Holidays Act 1983. The Fair Work legislation recognises public holidays declared under state law.
 
 
Links to Queensland legislation
 
QLD Industrial Relations Act 1999
QLD Holidays Act 1983

 

 

WantToReadMore

Get unlimited access to all of our content.