30 July 2010
Since 1 December 2006 the
Industrial Relations Act
(IR Act) has included provision for the Commission to exercise certain dispute resolution functions in respect of federal workplace agreements.
Following the transfer of the private sector from the State system to the federal system, the IR Act was amended as part of the process of aligning NSW industrial laws with the new national industrial relations legislation.
Various provisions of the
Fair Work Act
and its predecessor, the
Workplace Relations Act
, made it possible for the parties to various types of federal industrial instruments to nominate persons to provide dispute resolution services. Most Preserved State Agreements had expired but some have had their nominal duration extended pursuant to the provisions of
Workplace Relations Amendment (Transition to Forward with Fairness) Act
which was the first tranche of Fair Work laws.
The NSW Government saw it as appropriate for the NSW laws to be amended to ensure that rights of parties to nominate members of the State Commission as their dispute provider was respected. In that context, the definition of federal enterprise agreement was broadened to include a Preserved State Agreement where such an agreement is still in its nominal term.
Simply put, amendments to
ensure that parties who have previously agreed may continue to nominate members of the Industrial Relations Commission of New South Wales to perform such dispute resolution services.
Members of the Industrial Relations Commission of New South Wales have extensive experience in the wide range of alternative dispute resolution practices. Over many years the members have developed the skills necessary to help employers and employees resolve their differences drawing, as they do, on both their industrial and legal knowledge. Widely recognised as an 'independent umpire' that can achieve a fair and reasonable result, the Industrial Relations Commission of New South Wales will move quickly to determine any application brought under
The relevant legislative provision
provides as follows
146B Commission may exercise certain dispute resolution functions under federal enterprise agreements
(1) A person may apply to the Commission to have a dispute resolution process conducted by the Commission in relation to a matter or matters in dispute if: