QLD changes Industrial Relations laws with greater protections and five key reforms
The Sector > Policy > QLD changes Industrial Relations laws with greater protections and five key reforms

QLD changes Industrial Relations laws with greater protections and five key reforms

by Freya Lucas

November 03, 2022

The Queensland Government has passed new laws that aim to offer employees in all sectors and industries, including early childhood education and care (ECEC), greater protections from sexual, sex or gender-based workplace harassment and better access to parental leave and domestic and family violence leave.


As well as the topics mentioned above, key reforms also include:


  • improving the Queensland Employment Standards;
  • promoting gender pay equity in collective bargaining negotiations;
  • clarifying rules around representation provided by registered organisations for employers and workers;
  • ensuring agents appointed to appear in the Commission act appropriately; and, 
  • enhancing working conditions and protections for independent courier drivers.


Queensland Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said the Industrial Relations and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 delivers on her Government’s commitment to provide important protections for workers and give effect to the recommendations of the five-year review of the laws.


The changes, she continued, empower the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) to conciliate, arbitrate and issue injunctive relief to protect victims of sexual, sex or gender-based harassment.


“Minimum employment standards now align with federal standards by providing greater flexibility for paid and unpaid parental leave to include adoption, surrogacy or parentage transferred under a cultural recognition order.”


“The Bill also provides enhanced birth related and parental leave, and allows individual parents to allocate childcare responsibilities in a way that works best for their family’s circumstances.”


Queensland is also extending paid Domestic and Family Violence leave to casuals employed under the Queensland industrial relations jurisdiction.


“Casual workers will now be able to access ten paid days of leave to assist them or their families when escaping domestic violence,” Ms Grace said.


“While collective bargaining has delivered stronger wages and working conditions in exchange for flexible and productive workplaces, we still have gender pay inequality. That’s why we have introduced provisions in the Act to ensure the promotion of gender pay equity in the bargaining process.”


The Bill also clarifies rules around representation for employees and employers under the Act.


The Act provides an industrial relations framework for Queensland and regulates the state public sector, local government employees and the employees of several statutory authorities.


For more information about the Bill, please see here

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