A comprehensive review of Queensland’s industrial relations laws resulted in the government adopting all 68 of the review’s recommendations which will promote a fair and balanced industrial relations framework. A significant majority of the recommendations will be given effect though the Industrial Relations Act 2016 (the Act). The Act received assent on 9 December 2016 following its successful passage through the Queensland Parliament on 1 December 2016. Most provisions of the act commenced on 1 March 2017.
The Act provides a framework for the conduct of industrial relations within the State’s industrial relations jurisdiction that is fair and balanced and supports the delivery of high-quality services, economic prosperity and social justice for Queenslanders. The defining features of the State industrial relations system are:
a set of minimum employment conditions and standards
collective bargaining as a cornerstone for setting wages and conditions including good faith bargaining and other consultation
requirements to promote consultation between employers and employees
a set of individual rights to fair treatment
effective, transparent and accountable governance and reporting obligations for all registered industrial organisations and employer associations
the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) as a strong and effective independent umpire.
The Act covers employers and employees to whom the federal Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) does not apply. Generally this means employers and employees of the Queensland government and local governments are covered by the Queensland Act.
Employment Information Statement
From 1 March 2017 an employer must provide to each new employee in Queensland’s industrial relations system a copy of the Employment Information Statement, together with a document stating the industrial instrument that applies to the employee, before, or as soon as practicable after, the employee starts working for the employer (section 129 Industrial Relations Act 2016).