2010-2011 Annual Wage Review
The 2010-2011 Annual Wage Review is currently being conducted by the Minimum Wage Panel of Fair Work Australia. As part of process, the Minimum Wage Panel is considering and assessing submissions and research provided by the unions, employer associations, including Business SA, and other interested parties regarding an increase to the minimum wage and award wages.
Final consultations will be held 16-20 May before the Minimum Wage Panel in Melbourne to allow interested parties to further outline their arguments.
The Minimum Wage Panel’s decision on the Annual Wage Review is expected in early June. Any wage increase determined will be effective from 1 July 2011.
Workplace Health and Safety Harmonisation
On 3 May 2011, the South Australian Government decided to withdraw the South Australian Work Health and Safety Bill 2011 that had been introduced in the Legislative Council in April to commence the harmonisation of Australia’s workplace safety laws. The Government has indicated that this will allow more time for consultation. However, no time frame has yet been set for the re-introduction of the Bill.
On the National level, according to the time frame, Safe Work Australia and the Workplace Relations Ministers’ Council will approve the Workplace Health and Safety Regulations.
Low-Paid Bargaining Authorisation to be Made
On 5 May 2011, Fair Work Australia handed down its initial decision regarding the application by United Voice (formerly the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union) for a low-paid bargaining authorisation covering employers in the aged care industry. The authorisation would allow the union to negotiate an industry-wide basis.
Fair Work Australia determined a low-paid bargaining authorisation should be made, but that employers with an existing enterprise agreement should not be subject to it.