Friday, June 21, 2024

WALGA to liaise on shutdown draft determination as part of awards review

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has issued a number of decisions recently to seek feedback from interested parties on proposed amendments to the Federal modern awards – including the Local Government Industry Award 2020 – as part of the four yearly review of modern awards, which is still ongoing.

Plain language – re-drafting annual leave shutdown provisions (AM2016/15)

The FWC August Shutdown Decision [2022] FWCFB 161 considered the shutdown provisions in modern awards and issued a Shutdown Draft Determination with a proposed new clause concerning the ability of an employer to direct an employee to take annual leave during a shutdown. 

WALGA says: “The August decision is significant in that it does not recognise the ability of an employer to require an employee to either take annual leave in advance or unpaid leave during a temporary shutdown (such as Christmas closure) outside of arrangements in a contract of employment or enterprise agreement.”

Interested parties have until 21 November 2022 to provide submissions. 

WALGA is liaising with other Local Government Associations and employer organisations to provide further evidence and submissions on this topic and will be in contact shortly to request specific information from Local Governments on how they might be impacted if the Shutdown Draft Determination is put into effect.

Part-day public holidays (AM2014/301 and AM2019/17)

The FWC has been consulting with interested parties on the development of a model form of an award schedule for Part-day Public Holidays (see Schedule I of the current LGIA).

The FWC has now issued the September Part-day Statement [2022] FWCFB 182 expressing its view that Schedule I should be deleted from modern awards, and that provisions for part-day public holidays should instead be contained in the body of the modern award.

See paragraphs [55] – [65] of the September Statement. The FWC published a Part-Day Draft Determination for the LGIA with suggested amendments to clause 28.

Submissions are due on 21 October 2022.

In a statement, WALGA said: “We have reviewed the current LGIA Schedule I against the September Statement and we agree with the FWC conclusion. As the proposed change will not amend existing entitlements, we will be filing a submission with the FWC agreeing to the Part-day Draft Determination. Please contact us as soon as possible if your Local Government has any objection to this.”

Superannuation clause review (AM2022/29)

The FWC has decided on its own initiative, to review the superannuation clauses contained in modern awards in light of significant changes to superannuation laws in 2021 concerning stapling of superannuation funds and underperforming products. See the September Superannuation Statement [2022] FWC 2603.

This process is at the early consultative stages as to the nature of the review. We will monitor these proceedings and update Local Governments as required, WALGA said.

If you have any questions about this alert, email WALGA Employee Relations or call 1300 366 956

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