UnionsWA has today welcomed commencement of the new Industrial Relations Act following its formal gazetting. These new laws that will modernise workplaces and readdress historic injustices.
Owen Whittle, Secretary UnionsWA said:
“As recently as 2020, the undemocratic conservative majority in WA’s Legislate Council frustrated an attempted reform of workplace laws.
“Quite rightly, it has been these old laws on WA’s statute books, that for example, denied domestic workers any legal protection, and prevented Australia from ratifying the International Labour Organisation’s Convention on Modern Slavery.
“That and other past exemptions from lawful protections at work stemmed from the landed interests that dominated the Legislative Council seeking to deny our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce from fair pay and safe conditions.
“At last, this gross injustice has been undone.
“In other important ways this Act brings workplace protections up to date.
“Reflecting recent federal workplace law reforms and the Respect@Work report into sexual harassment, working people under West Australia laws will now be protected through a Stop Bullying Order and a Stop Sexual Harassment Order.
“For too long employers have either turned away from, or themselves been the perpetrators of workplace bullying or sexual harassment.
“Everyone deserves to be safe at work.
“It is also important that the horse and buggy era in local government will end, with those working for our local governments no longer mixed between federal or state workplace laws.
“The Act will make it clear that our local government workforce be protected under WA laws.”