- Review of a more modern and fair State industrial relations system begins
- State system covers up to one-third of Western Australian workers
The McGowan Government today announced the commencement of its review into the State industrial relations system.
Senior Counsel Mark Ritter, a barrister with extensive experience in employment and industrial relations law, has been appointed to undertake the review.
Mr Ritter was Acting President of the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission from 2005 to 2009.
Forrestfield MLA Stephen Price will assist Mr Ritter SC with the review.
The State system has not been comprehensively reviewed and updated since 2002, and the industrial relations and employment environment has changed significantly since then.
The aim of the review is to deliver a State industrial relations system that is contemporary, fair and accessible.
It will also develop a process to modernise State awards for private sector employers and employees.
The review's final report will be completed for the Government's consideration in about four months.
Stakeholders will be consulted and given the opportunity to make submissions. For more information, visit https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/labour-relations
Comments attributed to Commerce and Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston:
"The McGowan Government is pleased to announce the delivery of its election commitment to review the State industrial relations system.
"The State system needs to be updated to address the changed employment environment and to meet the needs of its constituents - predominately small business employers and employees, and the public sector.
"We are committed to ensuring the State industrial relations system is modernised and the review will provide a blueprint on how best to do this."
Minister's office - 6552 6700
Terms of Reference:
The Ministerial Review of the State industrial relations system is to consider and make recommendations with respect to the following matters.
1. Review the structure of the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission with the objective of achieving a more streamlined and efficient structure.
2. Review the jurisdiction and powers of the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission with the objective of examining the access for public sector employees to the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission on a
range of matters for which they are currently excluded.
3. Consider the inclusion of an equal remuneration provision in the Industrial Relations Act 1979 with the objective of facilitating the conduct of equal remuneration cases and other initiatives in the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission.
4. Review the definition of employee in the Industrial Relations Act 1979 and the Minimum Conditions of Employment Act 1993 with the objective of ensuring comprehensive coverage for all employees.
5. Review the minimum conditions of employment in the Minimum Conditions of Employment Act 1993, the Long Service Leave Act 1958 and the Termination, Change and Redundancy General Order of the Western Australian Industrial
Relations Commission to consider whether:
(a) the minimum conditions should be updated; and if
(b) there should be a process for statutory minimum conditions to be periodically updated by the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission, without the need for legislative change.
6. Devise a process for the updating of State awards for private sector employers and employees, with the objectives of:
(a) ensuring the scope of awards provide comprehensive coverage to employees;
(b) ensuring awards reflect contemporary workplaces and industry, without reducing existing employee entitlements;
(c) ensuring awards are written in plain English and are user friendly for both employers and employees; and
(d) ensuring that any award updating process is driven by the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission, with appropriate input from the award parties and other relevant stakeholders.
7. Review statutory compliance and enforcement mechanisms with the objectives of:
(a) ensuring that employees are paid their correct entitlements;
(b) providing effective deterrents to non-compliance with all State industrial laws and instruments; and
(c) updating industrial inspectors' powers and tools of enforcement to ensure they are able to effectively perform their statutory functions.
8. Consider whether local government employers and employees in Western Australia should be regulated by the State industrial relations system, and if so, how that outcome could be best achieved.