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Workplace Relations Legislation Amendment (More Jobs, Better Pay) Bill 1999

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THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WORKPLACE RELATIONS LEGISLATION AMENDMENT

(MORE JOBS, BETTER PAY) BILL 1999

 

 

 

SUPPLEMENTARY EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

Amendments to be moved on Behalf of the Government

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

and Small Business, the Honourable Peter Reith MP)



WORKPLACE RELATIONS LEGISLATION AMENDMENT

(MORE JOBS, BETTER PAY) BILL 1999

 

(Amendments to be moved on behalf of the Government)

 

 

OUTLINE

 

These amendments alter Schedules 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17 and 18 of the Bill. The principal amendments are as follows:

 

Schedule 2 Renaming of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission, etc

 

Amendments are proposed that would omit those items which repeal of the definitions of ‘designated Presidential Member’, ‘panel’ and reference to the Organisations Panel of the Commission.

 

Schedule 4 Conciliation

 

An amendment is proposed to ensure the Commission will be able to exercise its powers of compulsory conciliation in relation to an application for orders in respect of equal remuneration for work of equal value.

 

 

Schedule 6 Awards

 

Amendments are proposed to:

 

·          enable bonuses for outworkers to be an allowable award matter;

 

·          establish that the prohibition on the Commission varying an award to make a safety net wage adjustment prior to that award being simplified will not come into effect until the end of a 6 month interim period.

 

Schedule 7 Termination of employment

 

An amendment is proposed to make it clear that, while the WR Act is meant to cover the field for certain employees in relation to termination of employment vis-a-vis State law, such employees will still be able to seek a remedy in respect of termination under another federal law, for example federal anti-discrimination legislation or, where relevant, under Territory anti-discrimination legislation. 

 

Schedule 8 Certified agreements

 

An amendment is proposed to limit the right of organisations of employees bound by certified agreements made under section 170LK to be heard in relation to the proposed termination of the agreement.

 



Schedule 9 AWAs

 

An amendment is proposed to enable the Employment Advocate, or an authorised officer, to apply to an eligible court on behalf of an employee to recover compensation for shortfalls in entitlements in relation to AWAs.

Schedule 11 Industrial Action

Amendments are proposed to:

·          ensure consistency between subsections 170MWB(1) and 170MWB(2) concerning the requirement for the Commission to suspend a bargaining period if the relevant conditions are met;

·          establish a prohibition on the Federal Court issuing anti-suit injunctions in relation to actions taken under section 127 and the proposed suspension and termination provisions.

Schedule 12 Secret ballots for protected action

Amendments are proposed to:

·                    ensure an employee party to an AWA or State employment agreement whose nominal expiry date has not passed is not a relevant employee for the purposes of both a union initiated protected action ballot and a ballot initiated by an employee or group of employees;

·                    enable joint applicants for protected action ballots to request the Workplace Relations Registrar to reimburse costs associated with the ballot in a manner requested by the joint applicants.

Schedule 13 Right of entry

An amendment is proposed to establish that an application to the Workplace Registrar for a certificate under proposed section 291B must be made within 28 days of the invitation from the member being made.

 

Schedule 14 Freedom of Association

 

An amendment is proposed to ensure that failure by a person to pay a fee in respect of a conscientious objection certificate, or in respect of services rendered by an industrial association, does not constitute legitimate reasons for conduct to be taken against the person in contravention of Part XA of the WR Act.

 

Schedule 17 Miscellaneous amendments

 

An amendment is proposed to extend by another 12 months the time limit for the making of applications to withdraw from union amalgamations that took place before the commencement of the provisions concerning withdrawal from amalgamations.

 



Schedule 18  Amendments of other Acts

 

An amendment is proposed to alter employer peak body representation on the National Labour Consultative Council.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT

 

These proposed amendments will not have any significant financial impact on the Commonwealth.



 

NOTES ON AMENDMENTS

 

Clause 2 - Commencement

 

Clause 2 specifies when the various provisions of the Act are proposed to commence.  The amendments to clause 2 relate to the relationship between the commencement of amendments proposed by this Bill to subsection 83(2) of the Workplace Relations Act 1996 and an amendment to that subsection to be contained in the Public Employment (Consequential and Transitional) Amendment Act 1999

 

Amendment No. 1 - Clause 2, page 2 (after line 32)

 

Amendment No. 1 proposes to add new subclauses 2(11) and 2(12). 

 

New subclause 2(11) will provide that, if on the day that this Act receives the Royal Assent, subsection 83(2) of the Workplace Relations Act 1996 (the WR Act) has been repealed and replaced by an amendment made under the Public Employment (Consequential and Transitional) Amendment Act 1999 , then subitem 120(1) does not have effect.

 

New subclause 2(12) will provide that if subsection 83(2) of the WR Act has not been repealed and replaced by an amendment made under the Public Employment (Consequential and Transitional) Amendment Act 1999, subitem 120(1) will have effect.  If, subsequently, the Public Employment (Consequential and Transitional) Amendment Act 1999 repeals and replaces subsection 83(2) of the WR Act, then subitem 120(2) will commence immediately after.

 

The operation of proposed subclauses 2(11) and 2(12) is discussed further below [see Amendment No. 5].

 

 

SCHEDULE 2 - RENAMING OF THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS COMMISSION, ETC AND RESTRUCTURING OF THE COMMISSION

 

Items 3, 4 and 33

 

Amendment No. 2 - page 7 (lines 14 to 18)

Amendment No. 4 - page 13 (lines 7 and 8)

 

Amendment No. 2 proposes the deletion of items 3 and 4 of the Bill.  As the Bill is currently drafted, item 3 proposes to repeal the definition of ‘designated Presidential Member’ in subsection 4(1) of the WR Act.  Item 4 proposes to amend the definition of ‘panel’ to delete the reference to a panel established under section 38 of the WR Act (ie the Organisations Panel).

 

Amendment No. 4 proposes the deletion of item 33 from the Bill.  At present, item 33 proposes to repeal section 38 of the WR Act.  Section 38 of the WR Act establishes the Organisations Panel of the Commission. 

 

A ‘designated Presidential Member’ is a member of the Organisations Panel with responsibility for the exercise of particular functions and powers referred to in relevant provisions of the WR Act.

 

The deletion of items 3, 4, and 33 is necessary because the Bill does not propose consequential amendments to the provisions of the WR Act containing references to ‘designated Presidential Member’.   It is intended that the amendments contemplated by items 3, 4 and 33 and the consequential amendments to the provisions of the WR Act which deal with the exercise of functions and powers by designated Presidential Members will be contained in a future bill.

 

Item 12 - After subsection 9(3A)

 

Amendment No. 3 - page 8 (after line 23)

 

This amendment proposes to insert new subsection 9(3B), which will have the effect of preventing a person who is acting, or has acted, as a Presidential Member from styling him or herself as ‘Justice’.  The amendment would be in similar terms to existing subsection 9(4) of the WR Act, which prevents a person styling him or herself as ‘the Honourable’ merely because the person has acted, or is acting, as a Presidential Member.

 

Item 120 - Subsection 83(2)

 

Amendment No. 5 - pages 25 and 26

 

This amendment proposes the omission of item 120, and its replacement by subitems 120(1) and 120(2). 

 

At present, item 120 of the Bill proposes to amend subsection 83(2) of the Workplace Relations Act 1996 , so that it would provide that the Workplace Relations Registrar will have the powers of, or exercisable by, a Secretary of a Department of the Australian Public Service under the Public Service Act 1922

 

The Public Employment (Consequential and Transitional) Amendment Bill 1999 proposes to repeal subsection 83(2) of the WR Act, and replace it with the following provision:

 

‘(2) For the purposes of the Public Service Act 1999

 

(a)                                          the Industrial Registrar and the APS employees assisting the Industrial Registrar together constitute a Statutory Agency; and

(b)                                          the Industrial Registrar is the Head of that Statutory Agency.’

 

Accordingly, if the Public Employment (Consequential and Transitional) Amendment Act 1999 comes into force after existing item 120, it will amend the references to ‘Workplace Relations Registrar’ in subsection 83(2) back to ‘Industrial Registrar’.

 

To ensure that all references to the ‘Industrial Registrar’ in the Workplace Relations Act 1996 (the WR Act) are changed to ‘Workplace Relations Registrar’, Amendment No. 5 proposes to omit item 120, and replace it with a new item 120 containing two parts - subitem 120(1) and subitem 120(2). 

 

Subclause 2(11) will provide that if, on the day the Workplace Relations Legislation Amendment (More Jobs, Better Pay) Act 1999 (WRLA(MJBP) Act) receives Royal Assent after the Public Employment (Consequential and Transitional) Amendment Act 1999 (the PE(C&T)A Act) has commenced, subitem 120(1) will not commence, and subitem 120(2) will commence instead.

 

Alternatively, subclause 2(12) will provide that, if at the time the WRLA(MJBP) Act receives Royal Assent, the PE(C&T)A Act has not commenced, subitem 120(1) will have effect, with subitem 120(2) commencing immediately after the commencement of the PE(C&T)A Act.

 

SCHEDULE 4 - CONCILIATION

 

Schedule 4 proposes amendments to the conciliation powers of the Commission.  The underlying principles for the amendments are that:

 

·         compulsory conciliation by the Commission should only be available in relation to matters where the Commission has powers of arbitration;

·         the Commission should be conferred with express powers of voluntary conciliation; and

·         voluntary conciliation by the Commission should be made available in respect of a wider range of matters on payment of a fee.

 

Item 1 - Subsection 4(1)

 

Amendment No. 6 - page 45 (line 8)

 

This amendment proposes to amend the proposed definition of ‘compulsory conciliation’ contained in item 1 of Schedule 4 of the Bill, to insert a reference to ‘Division 2’ of Part VIA of the WR Act.  The amendment will make clear that the Commission will be able to exercise its powers of compulsory conciliation in the context of an application for orders in respect of equal remuneration for work of equal value.  This is consistent with the principle that compulsory conciliation by the Commission should be available in relation to matters where it has the powers of arbitration.

 

Item 61 - Application of Part 1 if dispute settling procedures in awards or agreements provide for conciliation

 

Amendment No. 7   - page 58 (line 31) to page 59 (line 18)

 

This amendment proposes to omit item 61 of Schedule 4 of the Bill. 

 

Item 61 deals with the operation of dispute-settling provisions in awards, certified agreements and Australian Workplace Agreements that are in force at the commencement of the item and which provide for conciliation by the Commission.  Subitems 61(1), 61(2) and 61(3) would provide that, at the end of a three-month transitional period, any reference in a dispute-settling clause to conciliation by the Commission would be taken to be a reference to voluntary conciliation by the Commission.  

 

Item 61 is to be omitted because it is unnecessary; the remainder of the amendments proposed by Schedule 4 will operate so that where a dispute arising under a dispute-settling procedure in an award, certified agreement or AWA concerns a matter that is not allowable, the Commission will not be able to exercise its powers of compulsory conciliation.  This is because a dispute-settling procedure in an award or agreement cannot give the Commission powers that it does not have under the WR Act.

 



SCHEDULE 6 - AWARDS

 

Item 11A - After paragraph 89(2)(s)

Item 11B - Paragraph 89A(2)(t)

 

Amendment No. 8 - page 69 (after line 17)

 

Amendment No. 8 proposes to insert new items 11A and 11B.  New item 11A will amend subsection 89A(2) of the WR Act to insert new paragraph (sa).  New paragraph (sa) will contain a new allowable award matter - ‘bonuses for outworkers’.  The amendment is required because ‘bonuses’ generally are to be deleted as an allowable award matter [Schedule 6, item 3], but are to be retained as an allowable award matter for outworkers. 

 

Paragraph 89A(2)(t) presently allows the Commission to make provision in awards for the pay and conditions of outworkers, ‘…but only to the extent necessary to ensure that their overall pay and conditions of employment are fair and reasonable in comparison with the pay and conditions specified in a relevant award or awards for employees who perform the same kind of work at the employer’s business or commercial premises’.  As ‘bonuses’ generally are to be deleted as an allowable award matter and thus no longer going to be specified in awards, paragraph 89A(2)(t) would not permit the inclusion in awards of clauses providing for bonuses for outworkers. 

 

New item 11B will make consequential amendments to paragraph 89A(2)(t) to expressly provide that that allowable award matter concerns pay and conditions for outworkers, other than bonuses, which are fair and reasonable in comparison with the pay and conditions specified in a relevant award or awards for employees who perform the same kind of work at an employer’s commercial or business premises. 

 

The amendments proposed by items 11A and 11B are designed to ensure that outworkers in the clothing industry who are paid in accordance with payment by results systems do not lose access to that mode of remuneration.

 

Item 26 - Before subsection 113(4)

 

Amendment No. 9 - page 72 (line 32)

Amendment No. 10 - -page 73 (line 1)

 

Amendment No. 9 proposes to amend the heading to item 26 of Schedule 6 of the Bill to omit the words ‘After subsection 113(3)’ and replace them with ‘Before subsection 113(4)’. 

 

Amendment No. 10 proposes to amend item 26 to renumber the subsection that it proposes to insert.  At present, item 26 would insert new subsection 113(3A), which would preclude the Commission from varying an award to make a safety net wage adjustment until the award has been reviewed in accordance with the award simplification provisions set out in Part 2 of Schedule 6.

 

Under this amendment, proposed subsection 113(3A) will become subsection 113(3C).  This amendment is necessary as the Workplace Relations Legislation Amendment (Youth Employment) Act 1999 has already inserted subsection 113(3A), and subsection 113(3B).  Without an amendment, the WR Act would contain two provisions numbered subsection 113(3A). 

Item 51 - Application of item 26

 

Amendment No. 11 - page 83 (line 16)

 

This amendment proposes to amend the application provision pertaining to new subsection 113(3C).  At present, item 51 proposes that the amendment made by item 26, which would require that awards must not be varied to make safety net wage adjustments until they have been reviewed in accordance with Division 1 of Part 2 of Schedule 6, applies in relation to applications for safety net wage adjustments made on or after the commencement of the item. 

 

Division 1 of Part 2 of Schedule 6 provides for a 6 month interim period for the (further) simplification of awards commencing on the day on which Part 1 of Schedule 6 commences. At the end of that 6 month period award provisions what are not allowable award matters would cease to have effect (Item 43 of Schedule 6). Division 1 of Part 2 of Schedule 6 provides for reviews of awards by the Commission during, and after, the 6 month period.

 

The effect of Amendment No. 11 will be that the prohibition on the Commission varying an award to make a safety net wage adjustment will not come into effect until the end of the 6 month interim period. 

 

 

SCHEDULE 7 - TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT

 

Item 6 - After section 170CC

 

Amendment No. 12 - page 86 (lines 10 - 12)

Amendment No. 13 - page 86 (lines 15 to 24)

Amendment No. 14 - page 86 (lines 29 to 31)

Amendment No. 15 - page 87 (line 3)

Amendment No. 16 - page 87 (lines 9 and 10)

 

Amendment Nos. 12 - 16 propose to amend item 6 of Schedule 7 (proposed section 170CCA).  Proposed section 170CCA is a ‘covering the field’ provision.   It applies to:

 

·         Commonwealth public sector employees,

·         Territory employees;

·         employees employed by a constitutional corporation; or

·         employees employed by certain employers engaged in interstate and overseas trade and commerce

 

who are not covered by a federal award clause relating to termination of employment (either because their awards do not contain such clauses, they are covered by a certified agreement or an AWA, or because they are award-free).

 

Proposed section 170CCA is intended to operate in conjunction with sections 152(1A) and 152(1B) (as amended) [Schedule 7, items 4 and 5] to preclude employees who are eligible to access the unfair dismissal remedy under the Workplace Relations Act 1996 from accessing similar remedies under State law.   Proposed subsections 152(1A) and 152(1B) will ‘cover the field’ in respect of those federal award employees whose awards contain clauses relating to termination of employment, and who are eligible to apply for an unfair dismissal remedy under the WR Act.

In its present form, section 170CCA inadvertently prevents the persons to whom it applies from accessing other remedies in respect of their termination of employment under Commonwealth or Territory laws.  This is in contrast to proposed subsections 152(1A) and 152(1B), which permit federal award employees whose awards contain clauses relating to termination of employment and who are eligible to apply for an unfair dismissal remedy under the WR Act to access remedies under Federal and Territory anti-discrimination legislation.

The amendments will make clear that persons to whom section 170CCA applies can, if they so choose, seek a remedy in respect of the termination of their employment under another federal law instead of the WR Act.  Amendment No. 13 makes clear that Territory employees will be able to access remedies under Territory anti-discrimination legislation. 

 

Amendment No. 16 amends the legislative note at the bottom of proposed section 170CCA to make clear that it ‘covers the field’ in respect of those employees who are eligible to apply for an unfair dismissal remedy under the WR Act, but who are either not covered by a federal award, or who are covered by a federal award which does not contain a clause relating to termination of employment.  In respect of those employees who are eligible to apply for an unfair dismissal remedy under the WR Act and who are covered by a federal award clause relating to termination of employment, the note makes clear that section 152 of the WR Act ‘covers the field’ in respect of those employees. 

 

Item 34 - At the end of Division 3 of Part VIA

 

Section 170HF - Applications to the Court

 

Amendment No. 17 - page 100 (line 3)

 

This amendment proposes to amend item 34 of Schedule 7 (which will insert proposed section 170HF) to replace a reference to ‘section 170HJ’ with a reference to ‘section 170HI’. 

 

 

SCHEDULE 8 CERTIFIED AGREEMENTS

 

Item 5 - After section 81

 

Amendment No. 18 - page 105 (after line 32)

 

This amendment proposes to introduce a legislative note following proposed subsection 81A(5) (Item 5) to clarify the intent of the subsection (which is to provide immunity from liability for breach of an award or agreement for a person who has acted in accordance with a certified agreement approved by the Registrar, where that agreement is later varied or overturned on appeal).

 



Item 5A - Paragraph 143(3)(a)

 

Amendment No. 19 - pages 106 (after line 11)

 

This technical amendment proposes to replace the reference to ‘the list’ in paragraph 143(3)(a) to with a reference to ‘a list’, as amendments proposed to subparagraphs 143(2)(d)(ia) and 143(2)(d)(ii) (in Items 6 and 7) will result in the possibility of more than one list being received by the Registrar under section 143(2)(d).

 

Item 25 - Subsection 170LM(2)

Item 33A -Paragraph 170LU(2)(c)

 

Amendment No. 20 - page 111 (lines 5 & 6)

Amendment No. 23 - page 119 (after line 30)

 

These amendments propose to replace references to ‘the Court’ (that is, the Federal Court) in Item 25 and paragraph 170LU(2)(c) with a reference to ‘a court’, because certain orders in respect of unlawful termination of employment may be made by a court of competent jurisdiction, and not only by the Federal Court.

 

Item 25 - Subsection 170LM(2)

 

Amendment No. 21 - page 111 (line 27)

Amendment No . 22 - page 111 (line 30)

 

These are technical amendments which propose to remove the word ‘and’, as superfluous, from the end of proposed paragraphs 170LM(5)(k) and (l).

 

Item 63A - After subsection 170MH(2)

 

Amendment No. 24  - page 127 (after line 14)

 

This amendment proposes to establish the circumstances under which the Commission may obtain the views of an organisation bound by a section 170LK certified agreement in relation to the proposed termination of that agreement.  This would ensure consistency between the proposed provisions concerning termination of an agreement and those dealing with variation and extension of agreements. The amendment would provide that the Commission may only obtain the views of an organisation bound by a section 170LK agreement if it has been requested to make a submission by at least one member whose employment is subject to the agreement, and whose industrial interests the industrial organisation is entitled to represent in relation to work that is subject to the agreement.

 

 

SCHEDULE 9 AWAs

 

Item 1 - Divisions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of Part VID

 

Amendment No. 25 - page 142 (line 13)

 

This is a technical amendment to Item 1 to omit ‘paragraphs’ and substitute ‘paragraph’.

 

Amendment No. 26 - page 154 (after line 24)

Amendment No. 27 - page 155 (lines 1 to 3)

Amendment No. 28 - page 155 (lines 4 and 5)

 

These are technical amendments to move the prohibition on the Employment Advocate approving a variation agreement where it contains objectionable provisions within the meaning of section 298Z, or provisions prohibiting the disclosure of the details of the AWA by either party to another person. This prohibition (and the associated note) was erroneously placed at the end of subsection 170VEG(6) and should be at the end of subsection 170VEG(5).

 

Amendment No. 29 - page 156 (line 9)

 

This is a technical amendment to change an incorrect cross-reference.

 

Item 7 - Section 170VX

 

Amendment No. 30 - page 163 (line 16)

Amendment No. 31 - page 164 (line 9)

Amendment No. 32 - page 164 (line 23)

Amendment No. 33 - page 165 (line 12)

 

These amendments propose to allow the Employment Advocate, or an authorised officer appointed by the Employment Advocate under section 83BG of the WR Act, to apply to an eligible court on behalf of an employee to recover compensation for shortfalls in entitlements available under proposed sections 170VX, 170VXA, 170VXB or 170VXC.

 

Item 22A - Paragraph 170WL(d)

 

Amendment No. 34 - page 167 (after line 24)

 

This amendment proposes to remove existing subsection 170WL(d), which provides that the regulations may make provision in relation to ‘the witnessing of signatures on AWAs or ancillary documents.’ Under the amendments proposed in Schedule 9, the AWA, extension agreement, variation agreement or termination agreement will be required to be signed only by the employer and employee parties.  As a result, paragraph 170WL(d) will become obsolete.

 

 

SCHEDULE 11 INDUSTRIAL ACTION

 

Item 10 - Subsection 127(3)

 

Amendment No. 35 - page 181 (line 2)

 

This amendment proposes to clarify the intent of proposed subsection 127(3) to ensure the Commission must consider within the 48 hour period, the question of whether the industrial action is, or is likely to be, unprotected.

 



Item 35 - After section 170MT

 

Amendment No. 36 - page 189 (line 13 to 16)

 

Proposed section 170MTA(2) (Item 35) prohibits the Federal Court from issuing anti-suit injunctions in respect of proceedings brought under any law in force in a State or Territory in respect of the same industrial action. This amendment proposed to establish a similar prohibition on the Federal Court concerning actions taken under section 127 (Items 7 to 15) and the proposed suspension and termination provisions (Item 36).

 

Item 36 - Section 170MW

 

Amendment No. 37 - page 193 (line 11)

 

This amendment proposes to remove the Commission’s discretion in proposed subsection 170MWB(2) (Item 36) whether or not to extend the suspension of a bargaining period if the specified conditions are met. This would make this subsection consistent with the primary provision in subsection 170MWB(1).

 

Amendment No. 38 - page 195 (line 31)

 

This amendment proposes to alter proposed section 170MWD(1), concerning revocation of suspension orders. The amendment would prevent an existing suspension of a bargaining period, and the parties refraining from taking industrial action for that reason, itself being sufficient reason for the revocation of the suspension.

 

Amendment No. 39 - page 198 (lines 2 & 3)

 

This technical amendment proposes to alter an incorrect cross reference and ensure consistency of expression within the section.

 

Item 42 - After section 187AB

 

Amendment No. 40 - page 204 (line 8)

 

This is a technical amendment to establish consistency between proposed subsection 187ABA(1) and subsection 187AA(1), as it is proposed to be amended by item 39.

 

 

SCHEDULE 12 SECRET BALLOTS FOR PROTECTED ACTION

 

Item 22 - After Division 8 of Part VIB

 

Amendment No. 41 - page 217 (lines 3 to 10)

 

This is a technical amendment to ensure the limitation on the definition of ‘relevant employee’ proposed in Item 22 applies both in the case of ballots relating to proposed agreements with unions and those made with employees directly. As currently drafted the limitation applies, erroneously, only to the case of proposed agreements made with employees.

 

Amendment No. 42 - page 235 (after line 13)

 

Under proposed section 170NBFA the Commonwealth, through the Workplace Relations Registrar, is liable to reimburse to an applicant for a protected action ballot 80 per cent of the reasonable cost of the ballot. In the case of joint applicants this money must be reimbursed equally between the applicants. This amendment proposes to enable joint applicants to request the Workplace Relations Registrar to distribute the reimbursement in a manner requested by the applicants.

 

Amendment No. 43 - page 236 (lines 9 &10)

Amendment No. 44 - page 236 (lines 12 & 13)

Proposed section 170NBGA prohibits persons disclosing protected information that will identify a person as one enumerated in section 170NBG(1). A reference to paragraph 170NBG(1)(d), concerning parties to an AWA, is missing from the list in 170NBGA and the proposed amendment will insert this reference. This will also ensure that an exemption to that prohibition applies to Registry officials and authorised ballot agents.

The second proposed amendment will remove the legislative note under subsection 170NBGA(1), which will become obsolete once the reference proposed in the previous amendment is inserted.

SCHEDULE 13 RIGHT OF ENTRY

Item 21 - After section 291A

Amendment No. 45 - page 255 (line 19)

This amendment to Item 21 is proposed to establish that an application to the Workplace Relations Registrar for a certificate under proposed section 291B must be made within 28 days of the invitation from the member being made.

 

Amendment No. 46 - page 255 (line 21)

 

This is a technical amendment to alter an incorrect cross reference.

 

 

SCHEDULE 14 - FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION

 

Item 6 - At the end of Division 1 of Part XA

 

Proposed section 298BA - Meaning of prohibited reason

 

Amendment No. 47 - page 260 (lines 14 - 20)

 

This amendment would delete proposed subsection 298BA(3). 

 

At present, proposed subsection 298BA(3) would provide that paragraph (1)(c) in the definition of ‘prohibited reason’ in section 298BA (ie that conduct is for a prohibited reason if it is engaged in because another person has not paid, does not propose to pay, or has not proposed to pay a fee to an industrial association, or to another person or industrial association in lieu of a payment to the industrial association) would not apply in respect of the following fees:

 

·         a fee payable in respect of a conscientious objection certificate; or

·         for services provided by an industrial association on request by a person.

 

The amendment will remove this exemption.  A failure by a person to pay a fee in respect of a conscientious objection certificate, or in respect of services rendered by an industrial association, should not constitute legitimate reasons for conduct to be taken against the person in contravention of Part XA of the WR Act.  If a person fails to pay a fee, it is possible to pursue that debt under the general law.  

 

 

SCHEDULE 17 - MISCELLANEOUS AMENDMENTS

 

Item 6 - Subsection 202(13) (definition of State Act )

 

Amendment No. 48 - page 291 (line 21)

 

This amendment would update the reference to Queensland legislation in subsection 202(13) of the WR Act by omitting the reference to ‘ Industrial Organisations Act 1997’ and replacing it with a reference to the ‘Industrial Relations Act 1999’.

 

Item 6A - Subparagraph 253ZJ(1)(c)(i)

 

Amendment No. 49 - page 291 (after line 24)

 

This amendment proposes to amend existing subparagraph 253ZJ(1)(c)(i) to extend by another 12 months the time limit for the making of applications to withdraw from union amalgamations that took place before the commencement of the provisions concerning withdrawal from amalgamations (31 December 1996).  Accordingly, the time limit within which an application can be made to withdraw from such an amalgamation will expire on 31 December 2000.

 

 

SCHEDULE 18 - AMENDMENTS OF OTHER ACTS

 

Item 6A - Paragraph 6(1)(d)

Item 6B - Paragraph 6(1)(e)

 

National Labour Consultative Council Act 1977

 

Amendment No. 50 - page 294 (after line 21)

 

This amendment proposes to amend paragraphs 6(1)(d) and 6(1)(e) of the National Labour Consultative Council Act 1977 to alter the membership of the Council. These changes have been necessitated by the merger of two peak employer bodies, the Australian Chamber of Manufacturers with the Metal Trades Industry Association, to form the Australian Industry Group.  As both of these former employer bodies were members of the Council, their merger provides the opportunity to grant membership to another employer body. The amendments will:

 

·         substitute the Business Council of Australia for the Australian Chamber of Manufactures; and

·         substitute the Australian Industry Group for the Metal Trades Industry Association of Australia. 

 

Navigation Act 1912

Item 8 - Section 135

 

Amendment No. 51 - page 295 (lines 4 and 5)

 

This amendment will amend item 8 of Schedule 18, which concerns section 135 of the Navigation Act 1912.  Section 135 restricts the operation of Division 15 of the Navigation Act so that it is subject to certain awards in so far as they deal with the issue of accommodation. 

 

Amendment No. 51 will repeal and replace section 135, to make clear that Division 15 of the Act also applies subject to agreements made under both the WR Act and the Industrial Relations Act 1988, in so far as those agreements deal with the issue of accommodation.

 

Social Security Act 1991

Item 23A - After paragraph 553A(4)(c)

Item 23B - Subsection 596(4)

Item 23C - Subsection 660XBE(4)

Item 23D - Subsection 771HB(4)

 

Amendment No. 52 - page 296 (after line 22)

 

This amendment proposes amendments to ss.553A(4)(c), 596(4), 660XBE(4) and 771HB(4) of the Social Security Act 1991 to insert references to ‘a Supreme Court of a State or Territory’, to reflect the fact that State and Territory Supreme Courts will be given specific powers to make orders under the WR Act.