Final Report Released – State Industrial Relations System
ER
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Final Report Released – State Industrial Relations System

On 11 April 2019, the Western Australian State Government tabled the Final Report of the Ministerial Review of the State Industrial Relations System ( Final Report) and a document outlining the Proposed Reforms in Response to the Ministerial Review of the State Industrial Relations System including proposed reforms in relation to the Local Government sector ( Proposed Reforms).
 
The State Government has responded to the Final Report by outlining its Proposed Reforms, which include the proposal that Local Government should be regulated by the State industrial relations system and not the national system.
 
Important  – No current action is required to be taken by Local Governments on the basis of the Final Report.
 
Specifically the State Government proposes to:
  1. amend the Industrial Relations Act 1979 (WA) ( IR Act) to allow a declaration to be made that Local Governments in WA are not national system employers under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). A declaration under the IR Act will require the Federal Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations to endorse the declaration;
  2. implement transitional arrangements to assist Local Governments move from the national to the State industrial relations system;
  3. enact provisions to protect employees’ accrued entitlements as part of any transition;
  4. establish a taskforce to facilitate the transition of Local Governments from the national industrial relations system to the State system;
  5. amend the IR Act to allow workers to seek an order to stop bullying at work from the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission; and
  6. enhance the compliance and enforcement framework under the IR Act to increase civil penalties for employment law breaches, require employers to provide pay slips to employees and provide industrial inspectors with greater powers to enforce compliance.
The taskforce will include representatives from WALGA, the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, the ASU and the LGRCEU.
 
Important key takeaways
  1. The Proposed Reforms including the proposal that Local Government be regulated by the State industrial relations system is  not currently in force  and has no impact on current Local Government operations.
  2. Local Governments do not have to take any immediate action to respond to the Proposed Reforms.
  3. The bill enacting the Proposed Reforms will likely take a substantial amount of time to be passed through Parliament and endorsed by the Federal Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations (if in fact it is passed and endorsed).
  4. The Proposed Reforms will only affect those Local Governments currently operating in the national industrial relations system.
  5. WALGA will ensure that all Local Government members are provided with information and support, should the Proposed Reforms proceed.
For further background to the State Government review of the State industrial relations system, please refer to the WALGA Employee Relations Alert issued on 21 May 2018 available here.

WALGA will keep the sector informed as this matter progresses.


If you have any questions about this alert,  please email WALGA Employee Relations or call 1300 366 956.