Important Announcement: Review of the Western Australian Industrial Relations System
ER
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
The Western Australian State Government has announced a review of the Western Australian Industrial Relations System.

Importantly the review will consider whether Local Government employers and employees in Western Australia should be regulated by the State Industrial Relations System. This is an important and long standing issue for Local Governments as there has been ongoing jurisdictional uncertainty, with Western Australian Local Governments operating in both the State and Federal Industrial Relations systems.

WALGA intends on consulting with the sector as the review progresses and advocating on the sector’s behalf.

The terms of reference of the review are:

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

(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.

The review will be undertaken by Mark Ritter SC, with the assistance of Stephen Price MLA. The review is anticipated to take about four months.

As the review progresses, including timeframes, we will be sending out further information to the sector.

For more information please email WALGA Employee Relations or call (08) 9213 2092.