Michelle Roberts

Michelle Roberts

Minister for Housing and Works; Indigenous Affairs; Heritage; Land Information

    New legislation to restore workers' rights lost under WorkChoices

    27/09/2007 1:50 PM

    New legislation introduced into State Parliament will restore some of the rights stripped away by the Howard Government’s WorkChoices.

    Employment Protection Minister Michelle Roberts said the legislation would ensure young workers, in particular, were not disadvantaged by under-award conditions.

    “Specifically, constitutional corporations who employ children under certain federal arrangements will be required to comply with prescribed State award conditions such as wages, meal breaks, overtime and allowances,” Mrs Roberts said.

    “If these conditions are not complied with, the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission (WAIRC) can step in to rectify the situation.”

    The Minister said the new legislation would mean unpaid trial work involving children would be restricted to one day per calendar year and young workers employed under WorkChoices would be able to claim unfair dismissal.

    Under the legislation, the WAIRC would have the power to mediate and provide options to resolve workplace issues at minimal cost.

    Mrs Roberts said the dispute resolution legislation would benefit small businesses by providing them with inexpensive options for resolution and mediation, as opposed to using expensive commercial arbitration or the courts under WorkChoices.

    The legislation would also provide protection for injured workers if they were dismissed within a specified period, and for those workers who raise safety concerns and were subsequently discriminated against.

    Minister's office - 9213 6600