Hon Bill Johnston MLA

Hon Bill Johnston MLA

Minister for Mines and Petroleum; Energy; Corrective Services; Industrial Relations

    New State employment laws to commence on Monday

    18/06/2022 8:00 AM
    • New laws will increase protections for workers and modernise the WA industrial relations system  
    • Stop bullying and sexual harassment orders introduced at the workplace

    Key provisions of the Industrial Relations Legislation Amendment Act 2021 are commencing next Monday, June 20, introducing a range of changes to State employment laws. 


    From Monday, Western Australian workers will have access to the WA Industrial Relations Commission (WAIRC) to address claims of workplace bullying and sexual harassment.


    The introduction of stop sexual harassment orders adopts the recommendation in the Respect@Work: Sexual Harassment National Inquiry Report.


    These provisions will allow eligible workers who believe they have been sexually harassed at work, even if it was a one-off, to make an application to the WAIRC for an order to stop sexual harassment. Minimum employment conditions will be extended for domestic and support workers employed directly by household employers.


    Other employee exclusions have been removed to ensure WA’s employment laws apply to all workers in the State industrial relations system, allowing the Federal Government to ratify a key international protocol on combatting modern slavery. Further changes include:

    • a new equal remuneration jurisdiction for the WAIRC;
    • increased penalties for non-compliance with State employment laws that broadly align with the national industrial relations system and enhanced powers of industrial inspectors to ensure compliance;
    • a prohibition on employers from forcing an employee to pay back part of their wages ('cash backs'); and
    • providing a process to enable WA local governments to be covered by WA industrial relations laws.

    For more information, visit https://www.dmirs.wa.gov.au/new-employment-laws


    Comments attributed to Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston:


    "The McGowan Government has implemented recommendations from the 2018 Ministerial Review of the State Industrial Relations System and the 2019 Inquiry into Wage Theft in Western Australia to enhance protections for WA workers.


    "WA's employment laws now apply to all State industrial relations system employees and ensure domestic and support workers are entitled to minimum employment protections.


    "The new avenue for workers to address workplace bullying and sexual harassment are both significant new workplace protections."


    Minister's office - 6552 6700