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Long Service Leave Legislation Amendment (Telstra) Bill 2009

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2008 - 2009

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LONG SERVICE LEAVE LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (TELSTRA) BILL 2009

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations,

the Hon. Julia Gillard MP)





LONG SERVICE LEAVE LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (TELSTRA) BILL 2009

 

 

OUTLINE

 

The Telstra Corporation Act 1991 (the Telstra Act) includes transitional provisions relating to the sale by the Commonwealth of its interest in Telstra.  These provisions include the saving of entitlements accrued under the Long Service Leave (Commonwealth Employees) Act 1976 (the LSL Act).

 

The Telstra (Transition to Full Private Ownership) Act 2005 (the Telstra Transition Act) provides that the LSL Act applies to Telstra until the third anniversary of the designated day (the day declared under section 3 of the Telstra Transition Act as the day on which the Commonwealth ceased to have a majority shareholding in the company) - that is, 24 November 2009.  From this date relevant State and Territory long service leave legislation would apply, subject to the saving of accrued entitlements provided for by the Telstra Act.

 

The Long Service Leave Legislation Amendment (Telstra) Bill 2009 (the Bill) would amend the Telstra Act and the Telstra Transition Act to extend the application of the LSL Act to Telstra pending development of national long service leave arrangements in consultation with the States and Territories.  The Government has previously announced its intention to develop these arrangements.  Once developed, the arrangements will be included in the National Employment Standards (NES) in the Fair Work Act 2009 and will apply to all employers covered by that Act, including Telstra.  It is the Government’s intention that the extension of the LSL Act to Telstra proposed by this Bill would cease when the long service leave arrangements are incorporated into the NES.

 

Without this Bill, Telstra will need to transition many of its employees from coverage under the LSL Act to applicable State and Territory law on 24 November 2009, and then transition them again to the new long service leave NES when that commences. 

 

The Bill also makes transitional and consequential amendments to the LSL Act related to the extended long service leave arrangements.

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT

 

The measures proposed in this Bill have no impact on the budget.



 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

Clause 1 - Short title

 

1.             Once enacted, the short title of the Act will be the Long Service Leave Legislation Amendment (Telstra) Act 2009 .

 

Clause 2 - Commencement

 

2.             This clause provides for the commencement of the Bill.

 

Clause 3 - Schedule(s)

 

3.             This clause provides that each Act that is specified in the Schedule is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable Schedule.  Schedule 1 to the Bill contains amendments to the Long Service Leave (Commonwealth Employees) Act 1976 , the Telstra Corporation Act 1991 and the Telstra (Transition to Full Private Ownership) Act 2005 .



Schedule 1 - Amendments

 

Long Service Leave (Commonwealth Employees) Act 1976

 

Item 1 - Section 25A

Item 2 - Schedule 1

 

4.             These items repeal section 25A and Schedule 1 of the Long Service Leave (Commonwealth Employees) Act 1976 (the LSL Act).  These provisions have no ongoing legal effect.

 

5.             Section 25A gives effect to Schedule 1 of the LSL Act.  Schedule 1 of the LSL Act contains amendments to the Telstra (Transition to Private Ownership) Act 2005 (the Telstra Transition Act). 

 

6.             The amendments to the Telstra Transition Act have come into force.  Section 25A and Schedule 1 to the LSL Act therefore have no ongoing legal effect.

 

Telstra Corporation Act 1991

 

Item 3 - Section 3 (definition of Long Service Leave Act )

Item 4 - Section 3

Item 5 - Subsection 9A(2) (paragraphs (a) and (b) of the definition of combined service period )

Item 6 - Subsection 9A(2) (definition of post-sale long service leave rights )

Item 7 - Sections 9B, 9C, 9D, 9E and 9G

 

7.             Division 1 of Part 3A of the Telstra Corporation Act 1991 (the Telstra Act) sets out the transitional arrangements that apply to the long service leave entitlements of employees employed by Telstra at the time the LSL Act ceases to apply to the company. 

 

8.             The Telstra Transition Act provides for cessation of LSL Act coverage.  The Telstra Transition Act currently sets the third anniversary of the designated day (the day declared under section 3 of the Telstra Transition Act as the day on which the Commonwealth ceased to have a majority shareholding in the company) - that is, 24 November 2009 - as the day on which the LSL Act ceases to apply to Telstra.  The transitional arrangements in the Telstra Act reflect this.

 

9.             Items 8 and 9 of Schedule 1 to this Bill would amend the Telstra Transition Act to extend the application of the LSL Act to Telstra for a further period. 

 

10.         The new time at which the LSL Act ceases to apply will be the day on which item 4 of Schedule 1A to the Long Service Leave (Commonwealth Employees) Regulations 1957 (the LSL Regulations) is repealed or otherwise ceases to have effect. 

 

11.         Item 4 of Schedule 1A of the LSL Regulations is the mechanism through which the LSL Act applies to Telstra.  This will be repealed when the national long service leave scheme is put in place.

 

12.         Items 3-7 reflect this change.  These items defer the operation of the transitional arrangements in the Telstra Act until the new time at which the LSL Act will cease to apply to Telstra (referred to as LSL changeover day)

 

13.         Item 4 amends section 3 of the Telstra Act to provide that LSL changeover day means the day on which item 4 of Schedule 1A to the Long Service Leave (Commonwealth Employees) Regulations 1957 (the LSL Regulations) is repealed or otherwise ceases to have effect.

 

14.         The effect of these items is to ensure that the transitional arrangements with respect to long service leave entitlements in the Telstra Act apply from LSL changeover day , rather than the third anniversary of the designated day.

 

Telstra (Transition to Full Private Ownership) Act 2005

 

Item 8 - Subsection 2(1) (table item 3A)

Item 9 - Item 52 of Schedule 1

 

15.         Item 52 of Schedule 1 to the Telstra Transition Act provides for the repeal of item 4 of Schedule 1A to the LSL Regulations.  Table item 3A provides that item 52 commences on the third anniversary of the designated day (that is, 24 November 2009).  As noted above, item 4 of Schedule 1A of the LSL Regulations is the mechanism through which the LSL Act applies to Telstra.

 

16.         Items 8 and 9 repeal item 52 of Schedule 1, and the table item providing for its commencement.  This is because item 4 of Schedule 1A to the LSL Regulations will be repealed (and the LSL Act cease to apply to Telstra) when the national long service leave scheme is put in place.