Proposed changes to definition of employee in state industrial relations legislation

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On 25 June 2020, the Industrial Relations Legislation Amendment Bill 2020 (the Bill) was introduced into State Parliament.

The Bill provides for changes to the definitions of employee in two key pieces of state industrial relations legislation: the Industrial Relations Act 1979 (IR Act) and the Minimum Conditions of Employment Act 1993 (MCE Act).

Domestic employees

At present, employees engaged in domestic service in private homes are excluded from the definitions of employee contained in both the IR Act and the MCE Act.  The Bill provides for the removal of these exclusions and would extend coverage of the IR Act and the MCE Act to domestic employees.

More information on the impact of the proposed changes is covered in the Proposed reforms to the definition of employee – Domestic employees – Fact sheet

Other employees excluded from the MCE Act

Several other categories of worker are currently excluded from definition of employee in the MCE Act. This includes people:

  • paid wholly by commission, percentage reward or piece rates
  • with disabilities employed in a supported employment service
  • who are volunteers
  • appointed as wardens by the National Trust.

The Bill provides for the removal of these exclusions from the definition of employee in the MCE Act and would extend coverage of MCE Act to these employees.

The factsheets below provide information about the impact of the proposed changes for specific groups.

Proposed reforms to the definition of employee – Commission only workers – Fact sheet

Proposed reforms to the definition of employee – Piece workers – Fact sheet

 

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