WA Local Governments (excluding the Shires of Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island) and Regional Councils (Local Governments) transitioned to the State industrial relations (IR) system on 1 January 2023.

A summary of steps that were undertaken can be viewed here.

The transition impacts Local Governments that operated in the Federal IR system prior to 1 January 2023.

Sector Communications – State IR Transition Bulletin

View all State IR Transition Bulletins released here.

Resources on the State IR system

View links to all relevant State employment legislation, State awards and State General Orders here.
View links to general publicly available resources on the State employment laws and the State industrial relations system here.

Subscribers to the WALGA Employee Relations Service

WALGA Employee Relations has developed resources for subscribers to the service including several factsheets, guides and recorded webinars to assist Local Governments with the transition to the State IR system.
Subscribers can review the resources here after logging in to the WALGA website.

Background to the State IR Transition

Ministerial Review of the State IR System  
Industrial Relations Legislation Amendment Act 2021 (WA)
  • On 25 June 2020, the Industrial Relations Legislation Amendment Bill 2020 (IR Bill 2020) was introduced into State Parliament to declare that WA Local Governments are not national system employers and to amend the IR Act and the Minimum Conditions of Employment Act 1993 (WA) (MCE Act).
  • This IR Bill 2020 was not passed before the final sitting day in 2020 and it lapsed.
  • The Industrial Relations Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 (WA) (IR Bill 2021) was then introduced into State Parliament on 20 October 2021. It contained similar terms to the IR Bill 2020, particularly in relation to the provisions enabling a declaration to be made that WA Local Governments are not national system employers.
  • The IR Bill 2021 received Royal Assent on 22 December 2021 as Act No. 30 of 2021 and the remaining parts of the IRLA Act were proclaimed on 17 June 2022.
  • The Industrial Relations (General) Regulations 1997 (WA) were subsequently amended to individually name all Local Governments (except the Shires of Cocos (Keeling) and Christmas Islands) and Regional Councils not to be national system employers under the FW Act.   
  • Additional regulations were drafted, including to name that the ‘relevant day’ for the transition, which was 1 January 2023.

Federal Declaration and Regulations
  • The Federal Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations endorsed the declaration that Local Governments named in the Industrial Relations (General) Regulations 1997 (WA) are not national system employers for the purpose of the FW Act. The endorsement was made under s.14(4)(a) of the FW Act on 6 December 2022 and registered on the Federal Register of Legislation on 20 December 2022. A copy of the declaration can be found here.
  • The Fair Work Amendment (Transitional Arrangements – Western Australian Local Government Employers and Employees) Regulations 2022 (Cth) were made on 15 December 2022 and registered on the Federal Registry on 19 December 2022. 

If you have any questions, please contact WALGA Employee Relations by emailing employeerelations@walga.asn.au or calling 1300 366 956.

The employment legislation and instruments which apply in the State industrial relations system are outlined here. 
WALGA Employee Relations will continue to update the sector via the monthly State IR Transition Bulletin.
Find a number of resources assisting subscribers to navigate the State industrial relations transition including webinars, fact sheets, guides and templates.
WALGA Employee Relations reconvened the Sector Reference Group in 2021 to address the propose transition of Local Governments to the State industrial relations system.