NSW, QLD and SA say NO to access to federal anti-bullying laws


Another quick one giving an update on the new anti-bullying laws from an article our co-author Madame Zena saw in Saturday’s The Australian and kindly shared with us. Basically, governments in NSW, Queensland and South Australia have made it clear they would oppose any federal pressure to cede their powers relating to workplace bullying.

NSW, QLD and SA say NO to access to federal anti-bullying laws

Governments in NSW, Queensland and South Australia have made it clear they would oppose any federal pressure to cede their powers relating to workplace bullying.

The new federal anti-bullying provisions came into effect on 1 January 2014. However many workers including all state public sector workers, workers for sole traders and partnerships are excluded from accessing the new anti-bullying provisions at Fair Work Commission as theses workers still remain under state Industrial systems.

Workers who do not come under the federal industrial system are not covered by the national anti-bullying laws, and are not eligible to make an application for an order to stop workplace bullying at the Fair Work Commission.

The response of the State governments leaves little likelihood that state public sector workers and the excluded private sector workers will ever have access to the new federal anti-bullying laws at Fair Work Commission.

Likewise the State governments have also indicated that there is no intention to legislate similar anti-anti bullying measures to those at FWC within their own state industrial systems to replicate those available to employees covered by federal Industrial laws.

Given the immense union opposition when Victoria referred its industrial powers to the Federal Government in 1996 its unlikely unions would likewise support any transfer of Industrial powers by other States and will probably remain fairly mute on state based employees not having access to the federal Fair Work anti-bullying provisions.

Labor calls for unity on bullying

From: The Australian January 04, 2014
Pia Akerman

LABOR has urged co-operation between state and federal governments to expand the reach of new anti-bullying legislation.

The call came amid state resistance to a union push that would give the Fair Work Commission greater powers over workers who lodge complaints.

Acting Opposition Leader Penny Wong said states should consider co-operating to broaden the commission’s reach.

“The laws currently do cover a significant number of Australians,” she said. “If there was a capacity for the laws with state co-operation to cover more employees, I think that should be looked at, but that will be a matter for the government.”

Acting opposition employment spokesman Doug Cameron went further, saying it was a “matter of principle” that all workers should be covered.

“If a co-operative approach with the states is required to extend them into jurisdictions where they’re intended to be, then that should be done,” his spokesman said.

The ACTU has urged IR ministers to establish exactly which workers will be excluded from the FWC’s anti-bullying powers and commit to closing any gaps.

About 80 per cent of the workforce is covered, with state public servants, workers for sole traders and partnerships, and Defence employees excluded.

A federal government spokeswoman said it wanted to assess the new scheme’s efficacy before considering any extension of the legislation.

Governments in NSW, Queensland and South Australia said they would oppose any federal pressure to cede their powers relating to workplace bullying.

State Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said Queensland would work with the federal government on the best way to investigate complaints.

“Any further centralisation of industrial relations powers has the potential to leave Queensland workers short-changed, which is completely unacceptable,” he said.

NSW Industrial Relations Minister Mike Baird said NSW already had a comprehensive anti-bullying regime in place.

South Australian Industrial Relations Minister John Rau would not support a handover even though national consistency was “a desirable idea”.

Victoria does not have an industrial relations tribunal. A government spokesman said criminal legislation enforcing penalties of up to 10 years in jail showed it was “taking a strong stand against bullying wherever it may occur”.

[Source: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/policy/labor-calls-for-unity-on-bullying/story-fn59noo3-1226794600993#]


Madame-Zena-authorPost & commentary by Madame Zena


Revised May 2014

3 Responses to “NSW, QLD and SA say NO to access to federal anti-bullying laws”

  1. Anyone nowadays can be bullied espcially childrens.Those who were victims of bullying, we should help them and let them know that its not their fault while reganing their confidence.I was scanning a few blogs,I found this article on a Safety Service. Its a great application which you can get connected to your safety network and can escalate your call to the nearest 911 when needed.Its a great application for us to be safe always.Check it here:http://www.SafeKidZone.com/

  2. Its outrageous state public servants don’t have access to this bullying law.

    Penny Wong and Doug Camerons comments are an even bigger joke. You caused this mess and now you’re running around crowing saying its a ‘matter or principle’ that all workers be covered. So Labor want someone else to clean the mess up you created. Why didn’t Labor make sure your law covered everyone and worked before you bought it in. You supposed to be the party for workers. This is a total mess and monumental cock up by Labor.

    Now public servants are left out of having any access to the bullying laws because of this stuff up.

    • I agree its hypocritical for Labor to be now trying to play hero and telling that states to drop everything and pass state laws to fix up a total stuff up and gapping hole that federal Labor created.