Queensland Industrial Relations Arrangements
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland will consult with Queensland businesses about whether they wish to remain under the federal workplace relations regime.
This follows the release of a consultation paper by the Department of Justice and Attorney-General seeking comment on whether the Queensland Government should maintain or terminate its referral of workplace relations jurisdiction for the unincorporated private sector to the Commonwealth.
CCIQ has long supported a national workplace relations system on the basis that it creates consistency and removes confusion for small and medium business owners about their obligations toward employees.
However, CCIQ believes that this consultation process represents a good opportunity to hear from Queensland’s SMEs on whether they still share this view.
The introduction of the WorkChoices regime in 2005 saw all incorporated private sector entities come under the auspices of the federal system.
Queensland businesses overwhelmingly supported this shift and most moved to an incorporated structure, as unincorporated entities were not captured by the new legislation.
Following the passage of the Fair Work Act 2009, the Queensland Government referred its workplace relations powers with respect to unincorporated private sector businesses to the Commonwealth, leaving only state, GOC and local Government employees under Queensland’s workplace relations jurisdiction.
This meant that businesses in Queensland could be confident about the system they are operating under, and the rights and responsibilities that come from that.
CCIQ has been a vocal critic of the Fair Work regime, and believe that urgent reform is required in order to create a balanced and more flexible workplace relations system.
However, it is our view that the reform task will be easier, and done more effectively, if there is only one system requiring change.
CCIQ is also cognisant that as we come into a federal election year, there will be significant opportunity to seek commitments from the Government and from the federal Opposition as to the changes that they would make to the Federal workplace relations regime.
CCIQ welcomes feedback on this important issue, and looks forward to reporting our findings to the Attorney-General, the Honourable Jarrod Bleije MP, in the new year.