February Updates from WALGA Employee Relations

Published on:
Wednesday, 23 February, 2022
Employee Relations

In Alert 1/2022 we advised that Easter Sunday would soon be added to WA’s calendar and provided WALGA’s updated WA Public Holidays Information Sheet for ER subscribers.
Easter Sunday Public Holiday has now been proclaimed and the changes to the Public and Bank Holiday Act 1972 (WA) (PBH Act) and the Minimum Conditions of Employment Act 1993 (WA) (MCE Act) came into operation on 12 February. Updated versions of the PBH Act and MCE Act are now available online.
All employees in WA are entitled to the new Easter Sunday Public Holiday, which falls on Sunday, 17 April, including employees in the Federal industrial relations system by virtue of s.115(1)(b) of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). The PBH Act amendments confirm that the new public holiday will be observed on Easter Sunday itself, rather than some alternative day. However, there may be exceptions to substitute the public holiday in some cases.
Local Governments now need to update their payroll systems to provide for this new public holiday in compliance with these legislative amendments and any provisions of applicable industrial instruments such as the Local Government Industry Award 2020 or an enterprise agreement.
WA Mentally Healthy Workplace Codes of Practice Released
New codes of practice have been released by the WA Commission for Occupational Safety and Health in the following areas:

A code of practice sets out practical information on how to comply with general or specific duties under occupational safety and health legislation.

WALGA prepared a submission on the draft Code of Practice – Workplace Behaviour on behalf of Local Governments in September 2021.
The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety advises that codes of practice should be followed, unless there is another solution which achieves the same or better result, and can be used to support prosecution for non-compliance.
COVID-19 Webinar on Vaccination Policy – Key Considerations
WALGA is hosting a joint webinar with Samantha Maddern, Partner, Mills Oakley to present on COVID-19 vaccinations for employees and key considerations for employers when deciding whether to implement, and how to implement, a COVID-19 vaccination policy for current and new staff.
This webinar is suitable for Local Government CEOs, Senior Managers and HR staff.
Date: Friday, 4 March
Time: 10am to 10:45am
Venue: Online
To register, please click here.
WALGA Webinar for WA ER Subscribers – Bargaining in the State IR System
A reminder that WALGA Employee Relations is hosting a webinar to discuss the process and formal requirements of bargaining for an industrial agreement in the State industrial relations system. This webinar will also provide a high-level contrast between the Federal and State bargaining requirements.
Date: Wednesday, 9 March 
Time: 10:30am to 11:15am
Venue: Online

To register, please click here.
Please note this webinar is only available to subscribers of the WALGA Employee Relations service.

Family and Domestic Violence Leave Review
On 3 February 2022, WALGA filed a joint submission to the Fair Work Commission’s Family and Domestic Violence Leave (FDVL) Review. The joint submission was made on behalf of the Local Government Association of the Northern Territory, Local Government NSW, the Municipal Association of Victoria and WALGA.

WALGA’s joint submission was based on WALGA’s State Council resolution and the WA results from the FDVL survey that WALGA conducted. You can find a copy of the State Council resolution on page 9 and a copy of the WA FDVL survey results on pages 18 to 26 in the full minutes from the WALGA State Council meeting that was held on 1 December 2021.

The joint submission was made in respect to the Local Government Industry Award 2020 and advocated for five days of paid FDVL as a minimum entitlement, access to paid personal/carer’s leave for the purposes of taking FDVL and that the current National Employment Standards entitlement of five days’ unpaid FDVL is inadequate.

Other employer parties, such as the AI Group and ACCI, have also made submissions to the FDVL Review. You can find their submissions here.
Join Careers at Council to Promote Employment in our Sector
With skilled employees increasingly difficult to find, Local Governments in WA and the NT are encouraged to join Careers at Council to attract, inform and source your future employees.
Established two years ago by the Local Government Associations across Australia, Careers at Council is the fastest growing local government jobs platform and offers great value to members. Benefits include promotion of all vacancies on LinkedIn and Indeed, discounts on your own LinkedIn products, automatic job feeds to university graduates and veterans, and the ability to promote videos and employee blogs to a local and national audience. All income is directed to attracting talent via Google advertising, LinkedIn, Facebook and a wide range of government, industry and career referral sites.
For questions, please contact Jennifer James at Local Government NSW on 0419 974 084.
If you have any questions about this alert, please email WALGA Employee Relations or call 1300 366 956.

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