Industrial Relations and Work Health and Safety laws have undergone significant change in recent years. The Fair Work Act 2009 commenced in most respects on 1 July 2009. The modern award provisions and National Employment Standards (NES) commenced on 1 January 2010 and apply to all private sector businesses. Existing award or agreement rates continued to apply until 1 July 2010 when a phasing in of new rates commenced — ending 1 July 2014 when the process will be complete. The Federal Industrial Relations system applies to most private Australian employers and their employees in that most states have referred their industrial relations powers relating to private industry to the Commonwealth. Further changes to the Fair Work Act 2009 were effected on 1 January 2014.
The new Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws commenced in NSW on 1 January 2012. The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW) regulates workplace health and safety (WHS) in NSW. It specifically aims to protect people at workplaces from risk to their health or safety and to promote safe and healthy work environments. This particular piece of legislation was introduced as part of the ‘harmonisation’ package of Federal and State WHS legislation that commenced on 1 January 2012.
These are dynamic and changing areas of law that impact on our everyday lives. Our team, in particular Mary-Louise Rentoule, can assist you as an employer to better understand your statutory obligations to your workers, or from an employee perspective, your remedies at law or alternate pathways to resolving workplace disputes.
Arrange a consultation with an experienced solicitor today.