Chapter 5 - Schedule 2 - Renaming and restructuring the Australian industrial relations commission and registry
This Chapter discusses proposed amendments to
the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (the Commission), and the
Australian Industrial Registry (the Registry). The Committee received many
submissions and a great deal of evidence dealing with the name of the
Commission and Registry and the proposal to allow fixed term appointments to
Outline of proposed amendments
Change of name for Commission and Registry
Item 8 and other consequential amendments set
out in Schedule 2 propose to rename the ‘Australian Industrial Relations
Commission’ as the ‘Australian Workplace Relations Commission’. Similarly
item 45 and other consequential amendments set out in Schedule 2 will rename
the ‘Australian Industrial Registry’ as the ‘Australian Workplace Relations
Registry’. Item 85 and other consequential amendments set out in Schedule 2
will rename the ‘Industrial Registrar’ and ‘Deputy Industrial Registrars’ as
the ‘Workplace Relations Registrar’ and ‘Deputy Workplace Relations
Items 14 and 15 amend the provisions of the Act
setting out the requirements for appointment to the Commission to replace
‘skills and experience in the field of industrial relations’ with ‘skills and
experience in the field of workplace relations’.
Simplification of the Commission’s
Items 9 and 202, and various other consequential
amendments set out in Schedule 2, simplify the Commission’s Presidential member
structure by collapsing the current three tiers of Vice Presidents, Senior
Deputy Presidents and Deputy Presidents into one level. All Presidential
members, except for the President, would be designated ‘Vice Presidents’, and
would be paid the same new Vice President salary (Item 25). Transitional
provisions set out in item 204 would maintain salary rates for those
Presidential members currently paid more than the proposed Vice President
Item 16 amends section 11 of the Act, so that in
the case of future appointments, Vice Presidential members will hold seniority
according to their date of appointment. However, Item 205 preserves the current
Presidential members’ existing seniority arrangements.
Presidential members with legal
Item 12 amends the WR Act to entitle
Presidential members or former Presidential members who have appropriate legal
qualifications to the same designation as a Judge of the Federal Court.
Fixed term appointments to the
Item 18 amends the WR Act to allow the
Governor-General to appoint Commissioners for a fixed term of seven years, in
addition to normal life tenure arrangements established under section 16 of the
Appointment of acting Commissioners
Item 21 inserts a new section 18A into the WR
Act to allow the Governor-General to appoint acting Commissioners, where the
Governor-General is satisfied that the appointment is necessary to enable the
Commission to effectively perform its functions.
Annual training program for Commissioners
Items 22 amends the WR Act to require the
President of the Commission to develop a training and professional development
program for Commissioners, and the amendment in item 23 requires all
Commissioners to participate in the program.
User-friendly systems and
Items 36 – 38 and item 61 amend the Act to
require the Commission to have greater regard to the needs of employers,
employees and other users of the Commission’s services in performing its
functions, and to provide user-friendly systems and procedures. Items 48 and
101 make equivalent amendments to require the Registry to provide user-friendly
systems and procedures.
Harmonising administration of the
Commission and Registry
Item 100 and various other items amend the Act
to give the President of the Commission greater control over the administration
of the Registry. In addition, item 38 requires the President of the Commission
to report on the performance and efficiency of both the Commission and the
Registry in the President’s annual report. The requirement for the Registrar to
make a separate annual report would be repealed (item 96).
Harmonising Registry appointments
Item 118 facilitates greater harmonisation of
appointments to the federal Registry and State Registries, by allowing
employees of State Registries to be appointed as Deputy Workplace Relations
Registrars, and by exempting these appointees from the requirement in section
83 of the WR Act that Deputy Registrars be employed under the Federal Public
Change of name for Commission and Registry
The Department provided evidence that the
proposed change of name:
is intended to reflect the changes in, and the evolution of, the
Commission’s role and functions. The Commission is evolving to become more
attuned to the current and proposed workplace relations framework where the
primary responsibility for addressing matters affecting the employer/employee
relationship is focused at the workplace level, but with a safety net of
minimum wages and conditions.
Some witnesses disagreed with this assessment,
suggesting that the Commission’s primary functions continue to be focused on
setting industry-wide safety net award standards, with diminishing involvement
in ‘workplace’ level arrangements set through agreements:
First, there is the renaming
of the commission from the Industrial Relations Commission to the Workplace
Relations Commission. Some may think this is mere nomenclature but words are
the lexicon of our life and nomenclature is of enormous importance. The notion
of an industrial relations commission bespeaks of a body that sets minimum wage
rates and work rules and that occasionally certifies industry wide agreements.
The nomenclature of workplace relations bespeaks of a body which is confined to
the operations of the domis of a single enterprise. That, in essence, is why I
believe a name change is unnecessary.
The ACTU is opposed to the
use of the term ‘workplace relations’ to replace the term ‘industrial
relations’ in the Act. While in one sense, this is not a substantive change, it
does symbolise a major shift in the Act’s focus to the individual enterprise
and, more significantly, towards the individualising of the employment
relationship at the expense of employee rights to collective bargaining and union
representation. While the ACTU is aware that, to a certain extent, this change
in focus has already occurred, the Commission has so far retained an ability to
make industry-wide awards, to certify multi-employer agreements and to resolve
disputes involving more than one workplace. In that sense, the change in the
descriptive term is misleading.
Employer groups submitted that the name change
was appropriate because the new name would reflect the workplace focus of the
overall federal system:
The focus of the labour relations system should be on the
workplace, rather than on other possible levels including award, industry or
the national level. The Commission does perform functions at all levels,
particularly at the award and industry levels. Nevertheless, the focus of
Commission policy priorities should be on providing greater scope for workplace
level decisions, and this proposed change is consistent with that objective.
(The renaming) will reflect the increased focus of the system on
the workplace. Also a change in title may provide impetus in some small way for
the recognition by the Commission and the parties who appear before it that
statutory changes also require institutional and cultural changes.
Council of Social Services agreed that the proposal to change the name would
lead to a change in culture and priorities for the Commission, but did not
agree that this change would be positive:
The effect of the 1996
amendments to the Act has been to limit substantially the powers of the Commission
in relation to the setting of minimum wages and conditions and in the
resolution of disputes. In this context the renaming of the Australian
Industrial Relations Commission is significant. It reflects a vision of a
reduced and narrow role for this body. It is a movement away from a concern
with the social and economic objectives for society to the primacy of
market-driven workplace arrangements.
put by the Department in favour of the proposed name change was that the name
of the Commission and Registry should reflect the name of their enabling
Australian jurisdictions, the names of relevant tribunals do seem to correspond
with their enabling legislation, as demonstrated in the examples below. The
retaining of an ‘industrial’ emphasis, rather than ‘workplace’, most likely
reflects the historical development of the jurisdiction in Australia.
- in New South Wales, the Industrial
Relations Act 1996 creates the ‘Industrial Relations Commission of New
- Victoria no longer has an
equivalent tribunal, since the referral of Victorian industrial relations
powers to the Commonwealth. However, the former Employee Relations Act 1992
established the most recent Victorian tribunal - the ‘Employee Relations
Commission of Victorian’;
- in Queensland, the Industrial
Relations Act 1999 establishes the ‘Queensland Industrial Relations
- in Western Australian, the Industrial
Relations Act 1979 establishes the ‘Western Australian Industrial Relations
Australia and Tasmania, the names of the relevant tribunals do not exactly
match the names of their enabling legislation:
in South Australia, the Industrial
and Employee Relations Act 1994 establishes the ‘Industrial Relations
Commission of South Australia’; and
- in Tasmania, the Industrial
Relations Act 1984 establishes the ‘Tasmanian Industrial Commission’.
option for renaming the Commission, similar to the former Victorian tribunal,
was suggested during the Committee’s public hearings:
It has been suggested to us
that, if we must look at changing the name, a more appropriate alternative
would be the Employment Relations Commission. Do you have any comment on that
I would agree with that. I
would prefer industrial relations because it is a well understood term, but I
think employment relations is far more accurate than workplace relations.
to the Committee regarding the proposed change of name for the Registry was
limited. The Department submitted that the name of the Registry should reflect
the name of the Commission it services, particularly as the Bill proposes to
further integrate the Commission and Registry, and give the President of the
Commission greater responsibility for managing the work of the Registry (see
paragraphs 1.76 to 1.82 below).
was presented to the Committee about the proposal that appointees to the
Commission should have experience in ‘workplace relations’, rather than
The name of the Commission should ideally
reflect its functions, to avoid confusing members of the public who use its
Suggestions by employer groups that the
Commission’s name should be altered to promote cultural change away from the
Commission’s historical concentration on industry-wide arrangements are
A majority of the Committee accepts the
Department’s submission that the name of the Registry and Registrars should
reflect that of the Commission.
That the provisions of Schedule 2 be enacted.
Simplification of the Commission’s Presidential structure
The Commission currently has four levels of
Presidential members: (in order of hierarchy) the President, Vice Presidents,
Senior Deputy Presidents and Deputy Presidents. The Bill proposes to abolish
the offices of Senior Deputy President and Deputy President, so that all
Presidential members (except the President) would become Vice Presidents.
Submissions to the Committee generally supported
the proposed changes. It was indicated that the current structure was
unnecessarily complex, the result of confusing historical events and
and has not been reviewed since 1991.
The Business Council of Australia, in support of
the amendments, submitted:
This will provide for a flatter, more contemporary structure,
bearing in mind the AIRC is a non-judicial body. The existing number of levels
seems to be a product of history.
Professor Isaac, a former Commissioner who
appeared before the Committee, also supported the proposed simplification of
the Presidential structure:
This change in effect reverts to the structure which prevailed
before the 1993 Act and is to be commended as removing an unwarranted and
artificial hierarchy of Presidential members.
The Bill contains transitional provisions to
ensure the continuity of appointment of the current Presidential members, and
to maintain current arrangements regarding seniority.
The new salary rate for Vice Presidents
(equivalent to the salary of a Federal Court judge) would be slightly lower
than the salary that current Vice Presidents are entitled to (103% of the
salary of a Federal Court judge). However, Schedule 2 includes a transitional
salary maintenance provision for the two current Vice Presidents.
The new Vice President salary rate is the same
as Senior Deputy Presidents are currently paid, and higher than the salary that
the Commission’s single Deputy President
is currently paid (95% of the salary of a Federal Court judge). In effect, no
current Presidential member would be financially disadvantaged by the proposed
amendments, and the Commission’s remaining Deputy President will receive a
significant pay increase.
The amendments simplify the Commission’s
staffing structures, in line with contemporary developments in both the public
and private sectors, and would simplify the Commission’s personnel
administration. In addition, the proposed amendments would have the benefit of
considerably simplifying Division 1 of Part II of the WR Act.
Comprehensive transitional arrangements are
contained in the Bill to ensure that no Presidential members are disadvantaged
either financially or in terms of seniority. In fact, the current Deputy
President will receive an increase in salary. There has been no suggestion that
the amendments would affect the standing or prestige of the Presidential
members or of the Commission.
That the amendments in Schedule 2 to alter the
Commission’s Presidential structure be enacted.
Presidential members with legal qualifications
Prior to 1988, section 7 of the Conciliation
and Arbitration Act 1904 provided that Presidential members of the
Commission with appropriate legal qualifications were entitled to the
designation ‘Justice’. This provision was removed with the enactment of the Industrial
Relations Act 1988, although existing members at that time were entitled to
retain their designation under transitional provisions set out in the Industrial
Relations (Consequential Provisions) Act 1988.
The Department submitted that the amendment to
restore this entitlement to Presidential members with legal qualifications ‘is
designed to operate as an attraction and recruitment measure, to assist in
attracting highly qualified legal practitioners to the Commission.’
Professor Isaac did not support the proposed
amendment asserting that the Commission is not a judicial body – it exercises
arbitral, rather than judicial, powers under the Constitution and that this amendment will
create two classes of people doing exactly the same thing.
However the Committee notes that two classes of
Commissioners (Justices and non-Justices) already exist. The current President,
two Senior Deputy Presidents and eight Deputy Presidents are styled Judge or
Justice, meaning that almost 40% of current Presidential members (including
dual appointees from State tribunals) are already entitled to the designation.
Presidential members and other Commissioners are
required to perform functions in a manner analogous to judges. They hear evidence, apply
legislative provisions and legal precedents, and make binding decisions
affecting the rights of parties. They must also write and publish reasons for
their decisions in a manner similar to judges writing and publishing judgements
of a court.
The Commission performs its functions in a
quasi-judicial manner, and it is an advantage to the Commission to have a
contingent of Presidential members and Commissioners with high-level legal
qualifications and training, in addition to experience in industrial and
Entitling legally qualified Commissioners to be
styled ‘Justice’ will recognise the special ‘quasi-judicial’ nature of the
Commission, increase the esteem in which the Commission is held, and promote
the Commission as a prestigious place to work for members of the legal
profession. A majority of the Committee believes that it is reasonable to
assume that reinstating the designation will prove beneficial in attracting
eminent and respected lawyers to the Commission.
That the amendment in item 12 of Schedule 2 be
enacted to allow Presidential members with requisite legal qualifications to
elect to have the same designation as a Judge of the Federal Court.
Fixed term appointments
Item 18 will not require all future appointments
to the Commission to be on a fixed term basis. The normal system of
appointments for life would continue under section 16 of the WR Act. Item 18
will simply introduce the option for the Governor-General to make Commission
appointments for a fixed term of seven years, with an option to reappoint.
The Department submitted that fixed term
appointments to the Commission would:
...allow for the Commission to respond more flexibly to changing
workloads and pressures...The possible introduction of temporary and fixed term
appointments was foreshadowed in the Ministerial discussion paper released in
July 1998, Improving access and service delivery: administration of the AIRC
and the Registry. The proposed provisions will, in part, meet these
commitments by providing the Government with greater flexibility to assist the
Commission, in terms of staffing numbers and required expertise, to meet
changes in its workload.
The Business Council of Australia and the
Australian Wool Selling Brokers Employers’ Federation agreed that the option of
fixed term appointments would contribute to a more flexible human resource
framework for the Commission.
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Western
Australia made the following submission:
We are conscious of the need for the maintenance of judicial
independence...However, judicial independence is not the sole
consideration...There is a need to ensure that members of the Commission are
not immune from expectations of reasonable performance. Currently Commissioners
are able to avoid termination of their appointments other than in the most
extreme circumstances. This mechanism of seven year appointments also
potentially allows for fresh perspectives to be included in the personnel of
the Commission and so ensures that the Industrial Commission as a whole remains
abreast of contemporary workplace relations practices and issues.
Other employer groups such as ACCI and AIG were
more cautious about the proposal.
Submissions made by employees, unions, lawyers
and academics opposed the amendment, on the basis that fixed term appointments
would compromise the independence of the Commission, or at least weaken public
perceptions of the independence of the Commission:
The Australian Nursing Federation (SA Branch) believes that the
proposed introduction of fixed term appointments to the Commission will remove
its independence and authority. Members of the Commission will, in exercising
the jurisdiction, be mindful of the effects on the likelihood of them
continuing with a further appointment.
...fundamental to the effective operation of the AIRC is the
public’s perception that decisions of the AIRC have been made independently,
that they have not been influenced by outside or irrelevant considerations and
that they have not in any way been influenced by the government of the day (or
any alternative government). The introduction of fixed term appointments to the
AIRC has the potential to disturb this perception as concerns may arise that
the AIRC is not adequately protected from external influences, and in
particular the influences of the executive government.
The Business Council of Australia provided the
Committee with many examples of fixed term appointments for members of
non-judicial statutory bodies, including Auditors General, Ombudsmen,
anti-discrimination tribunals and anti-corruption commissions.
There are many precedents of tribunals, and even
courts, operating with fixed term members, and the Committee was not provided
with evidence pointing to a lack of independence within these bodies. In
addition, the Department provided information about fixed term appointments to
State industrial tribunals:
Section 35 of the South Australian Industrial and Employee
Relations Act 1994 provides for 6 years initially, renewable for a further
6 years or until 65. Section 83 of the Western Australian Workplace
Agreements Act 1993 provides for appointment to the Workplace Agreement
Commission for terms not exceeding 5 years (renewable). Section 6 of the
Tasmanian Industrial Relations Act 1984 provides for appointments after
1992 to be for a period of 7 years and for Enterprise Commissioners section
61ZA provides for appointments for a period not exceeding 7 years. Prior to 1
July 1999, section 272 of the Queensland Workplace Relations Act 1997 provided
for terms of 7 years initially, thereafter for periods not exceeding 7 years.
However, term appointments have now been replaced by tenured appointments in
The Commission has had its own fixed term
appointees: under section 16(1A), the former President of the Commission,
Deidre O’Connor, was appointed for a fixed term, and Commissioners who are
appointed under section 16(2) (dual appointments for members of State
industrial authorities) may also be appointed for fixed terms.
The Department also drew the Committee’s attention
to an example of judicial fixed term appointments. Section 13 of the New South
Wales Local Court Act 1982 provides:
Where the Governor considers it appropriate that a Magistrate
should be appointed for a particular term of office, the Governor may, in the
commission of the Magistrate’s appointment:
- by a
reference to dates, specify the term of office (not being a term continuing
past the date on which the Magistrate will attain the age of 70 years) for
which the Magistrate is appointed...
A majority of the Committee accepts that it is
of vital importance to maintain public confidence in the impartiality and
independence of the Commission.
A majority of the Committee also accepts that it
would be of benefit to provide more flexible arrangements for appointments to
allow the Commission to temporarily increase its complement of Commissioners to
deal with major projects.
A majority of the Committee believes that the
proposed amendments reconcile the two objectives of maintaining independence and
allowing more flexibility in appointments.
That item 18 of Schedule 2 be enacted to allow
the Governor-General to make appointments to the Commission for fixed seven
Appointment of acting Commissioners
Item 21 allows the Governor-General to appoint
acting Commissioners, where the Governor-General is satisfied that the
appointment is necessary to enable the Commission to effectively perform its
Existing sections 17, 17A, 17B and 18 of the WR
Act allow the Governor-General to appoint, respectively, Acting Presidents,
Acting Vice Presidents, Acting Senior Deputy Presidents and Acting Deputy
Presidents to the Commission. The Governor-General may appoint anyone to these
acting positions who meets the ordinary requirements for permanent appointment
to the Commission, and there is no requirement that the acting appointments be
made from current members of the Commission. The proposed amendment extends
these arrangements to permit acting non-Presidential Commissioners.
The Business Council of Australia submitted that
the proposal, in combination with the proposal to introduce fixed term
...provide a more flexible human resource framework for the
Commission that assists cover cyclic, sudden, and short or long term
fluctuations in the demand for service.
There was some suggestion that the appointment
of acting Commissioners would undermine the independence of the Commission:
The proposed s16(1A) of the Bill to provide for 7 year
appointments and acting Commissioners (s18A of the Bill) represent an
undesirable and unwarranted intrusion into the Commission’s independence.
This proposal is a technical amendment to bring
provisions regarding the appointment of non-Presidential Commissioners into
line with provisions allowing appointment of acting Presidential members.
The Committee received no evidence that the
existing provisions of the WR Act or acting Presidential members had affected
the independence or integrity of the Commission.
The ability to appoint acting Commissioners will
allow the Commission to manage periods of leave and illness more effectively,
to maintain levels of service. It will also allow the appointment of additional
Commissioners to deal with short term fluctuations in work load.
That item 21 of Schedule 2 be enacted to allow
the Governor-General to appoint acting Commissioners.
Annual training program for Commissioners
The Bill requires the President of the
Commission to develop an annual training and professional development program
for Commissioners, and all Commissioners to participate in this program.
Submissions to the Committee generally supported
this amendment. For instance, the Business Council of Australia submitted:
In the words of the Australian National Training Authority – ‘Today’s
and tomorrow’s workers must never stop learning: learning is not just for
children and young adults: it is lifelong. Only lifelong learning can guarantee
that individual Australians will be prepared for change’. The provisions
will enable members of the Commission to publicly model vocational training
arrangements that need to apply (in varying degrees) to the entire Australian
Continuing training and professional development
will benefit Commissioners’ personal development and lead to a culture of
continuous improvement and excellence in service.
That items 22 and 23 of Schedule 2 be enacted to
require Commissioners to participate in an annual training and professional
development program to be developed by the President.
User-friendly systems and procedures
Parts of Schedule 2 amend the WR Act to require
the Commission and the Registry to focus on the needs of employers and
employees in performing its functions, and to provide user-friendly systems and
The Department submitted:
The conduct of the Commission has important commercial and
industrial ramifications for parties that use its services. Concerns expressed
by industry during the preparation of (Time for Business: the Report of the
Small Business Deregulation Taskforce – the Bell Report) suggest that more
needs to be done to ensure that Commission and Registry processes and practices
are not too demanding or inconvenient for participants of the system. The Bell
Report found that ‘The Australian Industrial Relations Commission is seen as
process driven and not user friendly. Accessible forums and simple transparent
processes are needed’ (page 5). The Bell Report also noted that ‘small business
operators say that AIRC hearings are held at unsuitable times and locations,
its proceedings and documentation too formal, and legal representation is
essential in order to participate in the process’ (page 49.
The Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
pointed to difficulties faced by local businesses because there is only one
Commissioner, based in Hobart, to handle the Commission’s work in Tasmania.
This causes delays and difficulties for businesses outside Hobart. More flexible processes using
the full range of current communications technology could assist in alleviating
these problems. However, some witnesses thought that increased use of
technology would pose problems, for example:
The minister has foreshadowed internet and electronic mail
submissions, increased use of telephone and video conferencing and the
possibility that the performance of AIRC members will be linked to case
turn-around time. He has also indicated that the AIRC’s role increasingly will
be focused on the provision of information and advice. While these changes are
designed to deliver flexibility in AIRC functioning, they also have the
potential to render tribunal processes perfunctory.’
The amendments to simplify the Commission’s
processes and procedures form part of the Government’s continuing
implementation of the recommendations of the Small Business Taskforce.
The focus on the needs of those who use the
Commission’s services, particularly employers and employees who may not have
had much experience in dealing with the Commission’s procedures, is consistent
with the primary objectives of the Act to devolve responsibility for industrial
relations to parties at the workplace level. A majority of the Committee
considers that the Commission has the ability to develop simpler, user-friendly
processes and procedures while still ensuring that it properly fulfils its
functions under the WR Act.
That the amendments in the Bill which requires
the Commission to have greater regard to the needs of employers, employees and
organisations in performing its functions, and to provide user-friendly systems
and procedures, be enacted.
Harmonising administration of the Commission and Registry
Various items in Schedule 2 amend the WR Act to
give the President of the Commission greater control over the administration of
the Registry, and require the President to report on the performance and
efficiency of the Registry in the President’s annual report, rather than the
Registry preparing a separate annual report.
The Business Council of Australia submitted that
these measures would increase accountability and transparency and:
...add to public confidence in the operations of those bodies.
Consideration should be given to prescribing key performance indicators in
legislation, with scope for additional indicators to be introduced from time to
time or for specific purposes by regulation. Legislated performance indicators
should extend to reporting on complaints about service delivery and the manner
in which complaints were resolved.
The Department submitted that the proposed
...allow for greater harmonisation, integration and simplification
of practices and procedures. The Workplace Relations Registrar will report
directly to the President rather than to the Minister, as is currently the
case. The Registrar will continue to be a statutory office holder.
The Committee did not receive any submissions or
evidence opposed to these amendments.
The amendments streamline management and
administration of the Registry, and ensure that the activities of the Registrar
are more closely aligned with the work of the Commission.
The amendments shift the Registry’s lines of
accountability from the Minister to the Commission. One of the Registry’s
primary functions is ‘to act as the registry for the Commission and to provide
administrative support to the Commission’,
so the Committee believes that strengthening the Registry’s accountability to
the Commission is appropriate.
That the amendments contained in Schedule 2,
which give the President of the Commission greater responsibility for the
performance of the Registry’s functions, be enacted.
Harmonising Registry appointments
Item 118 of Schedule 2 inserts a new section
into the Act regarding the dual appointment of employees of State industrial
tribunals to the Commission as Deputy Registrars or acting Deputy Registrars.
The Department submitted that this amendment
would remove a technical impediment to further harmonisation of the
administration of Australian State and Federal industrial tribunals:
The WR Act provides for the functions of the Australian
Industrial Registry (section 63) and allows it to act as the registry for State
industrial bodies. However, the WR Act contains an impediment to allowing State
registries to undertake the full range of federal Registry functions by
restricting the appointment or staffing of the Registry to persons employed
under the Public Service Act 1922. The WR Act is being amended to remove this
impediment to allow staff employed by a State Registry to be appointed as a
(Deputy Registrar). Such an appointment would be subject to the Minister
reaching agreement with the appropriate State authority and to the terms of the
industrial law of that State. This will accelerate the harmonisation of service
delivery between the Commission and State industrial tribunals with a service
delivery mix of federal and State resources that provide the most effective
A majority of the Committee supports further
administrative harmonisation of Australia’s six different industrial relations
jurisdictions. A great deal of evidence was heard regarding the complexity for
employers and employees of operating within different State and Federal
The amendment is a technical amendment to
provide for a minor exemption from the barrier to appointment of Registry staff
who are not federal public servants (subsection 83(1)). The exemption would
only apply in the case of dual appointments of staff employed in State
industrial tribunals to the statutory positions of Deputy Registrar.
That the amendment in item 118 of Schedule 2 to
allow dual appointment of the staff of State industrial tribunals as federal
Deputy Registrars or acting Deputy Registrars be enacted.
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