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Australia\'s New IR Laws - A brief overview


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Australia\'s New IR Laws - A brief overview

  1. 1. Riding the IR Roller Coaster<br />Presentation for The Gap Chamber of Commerce – 20 July 2009<br />
  2. 2. Fair Work Act 2009<br />Rudd Government “Roll Back” of Work Choices<br />Effective 1 July 2009<br />Some phasing in applied<br />National Employment Standards and Modern Awards effective 1 January 2010<br />
  3. 3. The New Scheme<br />“makes collective bargaining the centrepiece of the new IR system........But importantly, it also enshrines the rights to union membership and representation”<br />Jeff Lawrence, ACTU Secretary, 1July 2009<br />“while some companies are better prepared than others, there is a general sense of trepidation about what the changes will mean in practice”<br />Heather Ridout, CEO AIG, July 2009<br />
  4. 4. Definition of Small Business<br />
  5. 5. Unfair Dismissal Laws<br />“There’s literally hundreds of businesses that<br />have been sheltered from the operation of these laws since March 2006. From next Wednesday, they are no longer in that position as they are again exposed to that jurisdiction”<br />David Gregory, Workplace Policy Director, ACCI<br />
  6. 6. Unfair Dismissal<br />
  7. 7. Unfair Dismissal – The Pain<br />Reinstatement can be ordered<br />An order to restore lost pay<br />Compensation<br />Up to 6 months pay<br />Much time, cost and effort to defend the claim<br />Provision of evidence<br />Presence at hearings if conducted<br />Legal Advice<br />
  8. 8. Increased Union Powers/Adverse Effects<br />Right of Entry – Investigation, Discussion or OH&S<br />Unions don’t need to be bound by award or agreement – only believe they have coverage in the workplace<br />Employment records may be inspected. Privacy provisions for non members.<br />Must give between 24 hours and 14 days notice to investigate breach or hold discussions<br />
  9. 9. Adverse Effects<br />“Learn how to use discrimination and harassment in the workplace as an organising opportunity”<br />ACTU Website Advertisement<br />“Probably the greatest unknown in the legislation......An employer is guilty until proven innocent”<br /> David Gregory, Workplace Policy Director, ACCI<br />
  10. 10. Adverse Effects<br />Adverse Effects (General Protections)<br />The act introduces by example a list of events which could result in civil action by an employee or union against an employer if the person has exercised a workplace right<br />Areas covered include freedom of association, unlawful termination, the right to refuse to work a public holiday, sham contracting, industrial action and discrimination.<br />Reverse Onus of Proof<br />
  11. 11. Modern Awards and National Employment Standards<br />Modern Awards and NES will apply to all employees of “national system employers” from 1 Jan 2009<br />The two comprise the “2 Level Safety Net”<br />Wages and Penalty Rates to be negotiated as part of the Modern Award process<br />“No Detriment Rule” – basically you need to meet the minimum standards of the safety net <br />There is to be a “catch all” modern award<br />
  12. 12. The Minimum Standards of Employment<br />Safety Net<br />
  13. 13. What do you need to do?<br />Look carefully at your award compliance<br />Do you have employment contracts? Are they consistent with the legislation?<br />Review your practices and systems – are they good enough to protect you in the case of an investigation?<br />How are the new National Employment Standards going to effect you?? Do you need to change your practices?<br />
  14. 14. We’re Only Starting The Ride!<br />“Unions Defy PM Kevin Rudd’s restraint call as new IR era begins”<br />The Australian, EwinHannan, July 2 2009<br />“No one can underestimate the degree of change the new law will bring...there is no doubt employers are going to face a very different industrial landscape with big increases in union power”<br /> Heather Ridout, CEO, AIG, June 27 2009<br />
  15. 15. How can we help you?<br />Compliance Review of Your Business!<br />Includes:<br />Initial visit to your workplace<br />Completion of staff policies and processes checklist<br />Review of one of your employment agreements<br />Debrief visit and Written report on the above with recommendations<br />$800 in value – YOURS for FREE!<br />Available to members of the Chamber or to those referred by members of the Chamber<br />
  16. 16. Questions?<br />
  17. 17. Thank You For the opportunity to speak to you tonight.....<br />People Drive Results – What’s driving your business??<br />