On 20 June 2008, the Full Bench of the Australian Industrial
Relations Commission published its first decision ( AIRCFB
550). The decision included a model award flexibility clause for
inclusion in all modern awards, a list of priority industries and
occupations, and the timetable for the completion of award
The decision provided for the modernisation process to be
conducted in four stages. The first stage involves the making of
modern awards in the priority industries and occupations identified
in the decision.
The priority modern awards are to be made by 19 December 2008.
The timetable for the next stages as shown in the table below.
Modern Awards made
10 October 2008
3 April 2009
2 March 2009
4 September 2009
6 July 2009
4 December 2009
On 12 September 2008, the Commission issued a further statement
and published exposure drafts for the priority modern awards.
Fair Pay Commission Decision
The recent decision to award an increase of $21.66 per week to
the federal minimum wage and adult pay scales takes effect from the
first pay period on or after 1 October 2008. This in effect
increases the minimum wage to $14.31 per hour.
Remuneration cap for unfair dismissal increases
On 1 July 2008, the remuneration cap for unfair dismissals was
increased to $106,400.
Worksafe Victoria's intervention activities in 2008-09
WorkSafe Victoria recently announced their program of
intervention activities for the current financial year. In deciding
which industries and areas to focus upon, WorkSafe have looked at
workers compensation claims and reported incidents.
Industries to be focused on in 2008- 09 include agriculture,
moulded and fabricated metals, emergency services, food and
beverage, road freight transport, chemical storage, vehicle and
parts manufacture, welfare services and wood products
WorkSafe Victoria plan to use advice and assistance, and
Improvement and Prohibition Notices as the primary enforcement
tools to ensure that businesses are complying with their
occupational health and safety obligations. It is important for all
businesses to understand their rights, obligations and liabilities
that may arise out of Improvement and Prohibition Notices. Given
the significant penalties available under the Occupational
Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic) even a less serious offence
can result in a considerable fine.
Phillips Fox has changed its name to DLA Phillips Fox
because the firm entered into an exclusive alliance with DLA Piper,
one of the largest legal services organisations in the world. We
will retain our offices in every major commercial centre in
Australia and New Zealand, with no operational change to your
relationship with the firm. DLA Phillips Fox can now take your
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This publication is intended as a first point of reference
and should not be relied on as a substitute for professional
advice. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation
to any particular circumstances and no liability will be accepted
for any losses incurred by those relying solely on this
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Because of the high costs, royal commissions should only be convened to address issues of substantial public importance.
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