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Review of the Industrial Relations Reform Act

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News Release Hon. Laurie Brereton MP Minister for Transport ♦ Minister for Industrial Relations IR9/95 19 May, 1995


Following the conclusion o f the Government’s review o f the Industrial Relations Reform Act the Government proposes to make one procedural change to the unfair dismissal laws later this year, Industrial Relations Minister Laurie Brereton said today.

The change will give immediate access for conciliation o f unfair dismissal claims before any judicial determination by the Industrial Relations Court o f Australia.

“This will have the effect of streamlining the current process without limiting in any way the rights o f the parties,” Mr Brereton said.

O f the 6,176 applications finalised to date only 6% have required adjudication in the Industrial Relations Court, the remainder being resolved either by conciliation, mediation or other means of settlement.

Mr Brereton said the proposed change has the support o f the National Labour Consultative Council, involving employers, the Commonwealth Government and the trade union movement.

The Commonwealth indicated that any further changes should await the decision o f the High Court in the pending appeal on the Commonwealth’s unfair dismissal legislation by the NSW Government.

In the interim, a process will be established to allow State proposals to be considered at the next Labour Minister’s Council in Melbourne in 1996.

In the meantime, the Commonwealth has encouraged the States to match the standards established by the Commonwealth’s unfair dismissal laws and ensure their full compliance with ELO Convention 158 dealing with termination o f employment.

Media contact: Kate Hannon (06)277 7320 or 0418 481158