Amendments to IR Act improve outcomes for public sector

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
The Honourable Jarrod Bleijie

Amendments to IR Act improve outcomes for public sector

The Newman Government has today announced The Industrial Relations Act 1999 will be amended to improve outcomes from public sector enterprise bargaining negotiations.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Jarrod Bleijie said the amendments addressed changes that had occurred in recent years to the State’s industrial relations environment.

“In 2010, the former Labor Government referred Queensland’s private sector industrial relations powers to the Commonwealth,” Mr Bleijie said.

“Today’s amendments are an important step forward and show the Newman Government’s commitment to good faith bargaining and delivering fair wage outcomes for public servants.

“This is part of our plan to get Queensland back on track.”

Mr Bleijie said under the new legislation the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) would be informed of the impact its wage decisions had on the State’s financial position.

“When determining wage arbitrations the QIRC will be required to confirm it has considered the employers ability to pay,” he said.

“The QIRC will remain completely independent and have the freedom to make its own decisions, that hasn’t changed.

“Under the new legislation, the QIRC will get the information it needs to make key decisions about financial sustainability and what represents value for the State’s taxpayers.”

Mr Bleijie said the amendments would also give employees a chance to have their say on proposed industrial action in support of certified agreement negotiations.

“The changes will allow the employer to put an enterprise bargaining offer directly to employees for their consideration by ballot,” he said.

“The Industrial Relations Act will also be amended to allow the Government to intervene if an action poses a threat to community safety and welfare or to the Queensland economy.”

The Queensland IR Act covers approximately 245,000 workers employed in the Queensland Public Service and local government.

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