Members might be forgiven for thinking that the work of the National Office has been squarely on the Corona Virus this week, but that hasn’t meant that we have lost our focus on a number of other key priorities.

We have also been working overtime to ensure other important work continues.

In addition to drafting materials for our collective membership on the complex raft of issues the current circumstances have for IR/WHS and commercial contracts, as well as fielding a significant number of enquiries from members, we have also been working overtime to ensure other important work continues.

Awards Review

As is the unfortunate tradition, this week saw us further engage in the 4 Yearly Review process with an appearance in the Fair Work Commission to discuss its own proposal to amend the Payment on Termination provisions in all Modern Awards.  The proposal would sensibly provide employers with 7 days to pay outstanding entitlements after the date of termination (rather than 2 days currently under the On-Site Award). Master Builders has submitted that we wouldn’t oppose the inclusion of the model term in the Construction Awards (with minor award-specific amendments) as it would provide greater flexibility and practicality for employers.

The proposal would sensibly provide employers with 7 days to pay outstanding entitlements after the date of termination

The National Office has also been busily preparing for a one-on-one meeting in Melbourne with Deputy President Masson next week to discuss a range of issues our members continue to experience as part of the agreement approval process.  We continue to urge members to share any views and examples they would like us to pass on to the Deputy President at the meeting.

Standards Technical Committee

As a member of the Standards Australia technical committee on OH&S Management (SF-001), the National Office attended a meeting to discuss the progress of two draft International Standards being; guidelines that deal with psychosocial risk, as well as a draft standard to assist users in measuring their WHS performance.  The international work undertaken by Standards Australia is crucial given that a significant number of International Standards result in either identical or modified adoption in Australia.

The IR/Safety & Contracts team has also been working on a number of submissions to government

Unfair Contracts

The IR/Safety & Contracts team has also been working on a number of submissions to government including on its proposed Payment Times Reporting Framework, Unfair Contract Term Consultation RIS, as well as three submissions (including a review of the Building Code 2016) to the Attorney General’s Department which have been recently released as part of its focus on IR reform.

Boland Review

Let’s not forget that the State/Territory WHS Ministers are set to meet in June to discuss recommendations arising from the Decision RIS on the Boland Review, which will require a concerted and collective lobbying effort on our part to raise awareness about the significant impact a number of the recommendations will have on our industry.

 

 

Rebecca Sostarko

Senior Adviser, Safety, Contracts & Workplace Relations

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