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Industrial Relations Act 1999 – 22 October 2015

Industrial Relations Regulation 2011 – 7 October 2016

Industrial Relations (Tribunals) Rules 2011 – 24 September 2015

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Note: There are 2 employment systems in place in Queensland: the Fair Work national workplace relations system and the Queensland system (this Act). This is a complex area of law.

An employee (as defined in section 5 of this Act) is entitled to a wage that is not less than the Queensland minimum wage.

  • Sections 5, 8AA, 8A, 71B, 71D, 667, 695, 696; Rules 222, 223 of the Industrial Relations (Tribunals) Rules 2011

If, after completing an apprenticeship in a trade, an employee works in the trade, the employee must be paid at least the minimum rate payable under the award or federal award applying to the trade.

  • Sections 8AA, 8B

The periods in which an employee is required to work must generally not exceed: 6 days in any 7 consecutive days, 38 hours in any 6 consecutive days or 7.6 hours in any day.

  • Sections 8AA, 9, 9A

In each 4 hours of working time, an employee is entitled to a rest pause of at least 10 minutes (if practicable).

  • Sections 8AA, 9, 9A

If the employee is required to work for more than 5 hours, the employee is generally entitled to an unpaid meal break of at least 30 minutes after the end of the fourth hour of work and before the start of the sixth hour of work.

  • Sections 8AA, 9A

If an employee performs afternoon, night or weekend shift work, the employee is to be paid an additional amount (expressed in a percentage) above their ordinary pay.

  • Sections 8AA, 9A

Employees who perform weekend work are entitled to be paid an additional amount (expressed in a percentage) above their ordinary pay.

  • Sections 8AA, 9A

Casual employees are entitled to be paid at a rate higher than that applying to permanent employees (for non-overtime work, 123% of the pay rate for permanent employees).

  • Sections 8AA, 9A

A non-casual employee is entitled to at least 8 or 10 days sick leave on full pay for each completed year of employment with an employee. The employee’s entitlement is conditional on the employee promptly notifying the employer of any illness that will cause the employee to be absent from work; and the approximate period for which the employee will be absent. If the employee is absent for more than 2 days, the employee must give the employer a doctor’s certificate about the nature of the illness and the approximate period for which the employee will be absent, or other evidence of the illness to the employer’s satisfaction.

  • Sections 8AA, 10, 71B, 71F, 71FA, 71FB

A non-casual employee is entitled to at least 4 weeks annual leave for each completed year of employment with an employer. Note: Shift workers are entitled to at least 5 weeks annual leave for each completed year of employment with an employer.

  • Sections 8AA, 11, 71B, 71EA, 71EB

An employee and employer may agree when the employee is to take annual leave. If the employee and employer cannot agree, the employer may decide when the employee is to take leave; and must give the employee at least 14 days written notice of the starting date of the leave.

  • Sections 8AA, 12, 13, 13A, 71B, 71EC, 71EE, 71EF, 71EG

If an employee’s employment is terminated by the employee or employer, the employer must immediately pay the employee for the annual leave not taken, including any public holiday that falls in the period the employee is presumed to have taken the leave.

  • Sections 8AA, 14, 71B, 71EH

A non-casual employee who would ordinarily be required to work on a day on which a public holiday falls is entitled to full pay for the time the employee would ordinarily have been required to perform work on that day. What constitutes a ‘public holiday’ is set out in Schedule 5 of the Act. Note: An employee, while employed by the 1 employer, is only entitled to leave on full pay for a show holiday once each calendar year.

  • Sections 4, 8AA, 15, 71B, 71IB, Schedule 5

If an employee works on a public holiday, they are generally entitled to a higher rate of pay or penalty rates.

  • Sections 8AA, 15, 71B, 71IB

A pregnant employee is generally entitled to an unbroken period of up to 52 weeks unpaid maternity leave for the child’s birth and to be the child’s primary caregiver. Note: The entitlement may only arises if the employee has worked with the employer with 1 year or is otherwise a long term casual employee (defined as a casual employee engaged on a regular and systematic basis for at least 1 year). To take maternity leave, an employee is to provide the employer with special notification pursuant to section 19/71GH. Notice of intention is to be given at least 10 weeks in advance. Note: 2 parents cannot take long parental leave at the same time. A person is entitled to the same position on return from leave.

  • Sections 8AA, 15A, 16, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 29A, 29B, 29C, 30, 32, 34, 38A, 41, 71B, 71GD, 71GG, 71GH, 71GL, 71GM, 71GP, 71GQ, 71GR, 71GS, 71GT, 71GV, 71GW, 71GX, 71GY, 71GZ, 71GZF, 71GZI, 71GZK

A person who is an employee and spouse of a person who gave birth to a child is generally entitled to an unbroken period of up to 1 week’s unpaid short parental leave/birth-related leave and a further unbroken period of up to 51 weeks unpaid long parental leave/birth-related leave. Note: The entitlement may only arise if the employee has worked with the employer with 1 year or is otherwise a long term casual employee (defined as a casual employee engaged on a regular and systematic basis for at least 1 year). To take parental leave, an employee is to provide the employer with special notification pursuant to section 20/71GI. Notice of intention is to be given at least 10 weeks in advance. Note: 2 parents cannot take long parental leave at the same time. A person is entitled to the same position on return from leave.

  • Sections 8AA, 15A, 16, 18, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 29A, 29B, 29C, 30, 32, 34, 38A, 41, 71B, 71GD, 71GG, 71GI, 71GL, 71GM, 71GP, 71GQ, 71GR, 71GS, 71GT, 71GV, 71GW, 71GX, 71GY, 71GZ, 71GZF, 71GZI, 71GZ

A non-casual employee may use up to 10 days of sick leave on full pay in each year to care for and support members of the employee’s immediate family or household when they are ill; or because an unexpected emergency arises. Note: There is provision for an additional 2 days unpaid sick leave and unpaid sick leave by agreement. Before taking leave, notice must be given to the employer where practicable.

  • Sections 8AA, 39, 39C, 41, 71B, 71FC, 71FF

A long term casual employee (defined as a casual employee engaged on a regular and systematic basis for at least 1 year) is entitled to 10 days unpaid leave in each year to care for and support members of the employee’s immediate family or household when they are ill; or because an unexpected emergency arises. Note: There is provision for unpaid sick leave by agreement. Before taking leave, notice must be given to the employer where practicable.

  • Sections 8AA, 15A, 39A, 39C, 41, 71B, 71BB, 71FD, 71FF

A short term casual employee (defined as a casual employee who is not a long term casual employee) is entitled to leave work or to be unavailable to attend work for up to 2 days each time the employee needs to care for and support members of the employee’s immediate family or household when they are ill; or because an unexpected emergency arises; or because of the birth of a child. Note: There is provision for a longer period of unavailability by agreement.

  • Sections 8AA, 15A, 17, 39B, 41, 71B, 71FE, 71FF

A non-casual employee is entitled to at least 2 days bereavement leave on full pay on the death of a member of the person’s immediate family or household. A long term casual employee is entitled to at least 2 days unpaid bereavement leave and in some instances they are entitled to paid bereavement leave. In contrast, a short term casual employee is entitled to be unavailable to attend work for up to 2 days on unpaid bereavement leave on the death of a member of the person’s immediate family or household.  Note: An employee may take additional unpaid bereavement leave by agreement.

  • Sections 8AA, 40, 41, 71B, 71FH, 71FI, 71FK

An Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander who is an employee may take up to 5 days unpaid cultural leave in each year if the employer is in agreement. The employee must if practicable give the employer reasonable notice of the intention to take cultural leave before taking the leave. The notice is to include the reason for taking leave and the period that the employee estimates they will be absent.

  • Sections 8AA, 40A, 41, 71B, 71FL

An employee (other than a seasonal worker) is entitled to long service leave on full pay after the first 10 years continuous service (and then after each further 5 years continuous service). An employee who has completed at least 7 years continuous service is entitled to a proportionate payment for long service leave on termination of employment.

  • Sections 8AA, 42, 42A, 43, 47, 55, 69, 70, 71, 71HA, 71HB, 71HJ, 71HS, 71QB, 71QC, 71QD

An employee and employer may agree when the employee is to take long service leave. If the employee and employer cannot agree, the employer may decide when the employee is to take leave by giving the employee at least 3 months written notice of the date on which the employee must take at least 4 weeks long service leave.

  • Sections 8AA, 45, 46, 48, 49, 50, 51, 53, 71HA, 71HD, 71HE, 71HH, 71HK, 71HL, 71HM, 71HN, 71HO; Rule 149 of the Industrial Relations (Tribunals) Rules 2011

When intending to leave a job, the minimum period of notice a prescribed employee is to provide to an employer is 1 week’s notice. If one week’s notice is not provided, the employer is entitled to deduct 1 week’s pay from the employee’s wages.

  • Sections 4, 5, 8AA, 71A, 397, Schedule 5

An employee is entitled to be absent from the employee’s employment on a day that is a public holiday. However, the employee’s employer may ask the employee to work on a public holiday if the request is reasonable.

  • Sections 71B, 71IA

To dismiss an employee (after the probation period), it may be necessary for the employer to give notice to the employee pursuant to section 71KC/84.

  • Sections 71B, 71K, 71KA, 71KB, 71KC, 71KD, 72, 83, 84, 85; Regulations 4, 6, 7 of the Industrial Relations Regulation 2011; Rules 101, 102, 103, 154 of the Industrial Relations (Tribunals) Rules 2011

When an employee (with continuous service of at least 1 year) is made redundant, they may be entitled to redundancy pay calculated pursuant to section 71KF/85B.

  • Sections 71B, 71KE, 71KF, 72, 85A, 85B, Schedule 3; Regulation 4 of the Industrial Relations Regulation 2011

Where an employee (after the probation period) has been harshly, unjustly or unreasonably dismissed or dismissed for an invalid reason (e.g. temporary absence because of illness or injury, membership of an employee organisation, pregnancy), an application for reinstatement may be made by the dismissed employee or an organisation representing the employee within 21 days of the dismissal to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission. After an application is accepted as proceeding, a conference must be held to attempt to settle the application. If the conference is not successful in settling the application, the commission is to decide (arbitrate) the matter.

  • Sections 71B, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 82; Regulations 4, 5 of the Industrial Relations Regulation 2011; Rule 152 of the Industrial Relations (Tribunals) Rules 2011

An employer may stand down an employee on a day, or for part of a day, without pay when the employee cannot be usefully employed because of something that happened for which the employer is not responsible; or over which the employer has no control.

  • Sections 98, 344, 346, 348, 349; Rules 132, 135, 139 of the Industrial Relations (Tribunals) Rules 2011

An employee/independent contractor has the freedom to associate (or not associate) with an industrial organisation (e.g. union).

  • Sections 101, 102, 104, 105, 117, 179, 180

Where an industrial dispute cannot be resolved between employer/employer organisation and employee/employee organisation, the Industrial Registry is to be notified in writing. Upon notification being received, the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission may take steps to facilitate conciliation/arbitration of the dispute.

  • Sections 4, 229, 230, 294, Schedule 5; Rule 180 of the Industrial Relations (Tribunals) Rules 2011

The Industrial Court is continued in existence as the Industrial Court of Queensland and may perform all functions and exercise all powers prescribed by this Act or another Act.

  • Sections 4, 7, 242, 247, 248, 326, 329, 331, 334, 335, 340, 346, 348, 349, Schedules 1, 5; Rule 70 of the Industrial Relations (Tribunals) Rules 2011

The Industrial Court of Queensland & the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission may refuse to hear and decide proceedings relating to an industrial instrument if any of the employees bound by the instrument are involved in an industrial dispute/contravention of this Act.

  • Sections 4, 250, 268, Schedule 5

The Queensland Industrial Relations Commission may hear and decide all questions arising out of an industrial matter and industrial disputes referred to the commission (among other matters). The commission may also (upon application) declare a class of persons who perform work in an industry under a contract for services to be employees & declare certain contracts (e.g. independent contractor contracts) wholly or partly void if the contract is considered to be an unfair contract. An appeal may be made to the Industrial Court of Queensland where there is an error of law or jurisdictional issue. An appeal may be made to the full bench of the commission on other grounds (with the leave of the full bench). Appeals are to be instituted within 21 days of receipt of the decision.

  • Sections 4, 7, 255, 256, 265, 267, 273A, 274, 274A, 275, 276, 277, 279, 280, 282, 284, 325, 326, 329, 331, 334, 335, 341, 342, 346, 348, 349, Schedules 1, 5; Regulation 4 of the Industrial Relations Regulation 2011; Rules 72, 73, 74, 75, 77, 78, 80, 132, 135, 139, 140 of the Industrial Relations (Tribunals) Rules 2011

An employee may apply to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission for an order for payment of an employee’s unpaid wages, unpaid super contributions, etc. An application cannot be made if the total amount claimed exceeds $50,000. Note: An application for unpaid wages can alternatively be made to the Industrial Magistrates Court.

  • Sections 4, 278, 399, 400B, 400F, 703, Schedule 5; Rules 76, 101, 102, 103, 150 of the Industrial Relations (Tribunals) Rules 2011

An Industrial Magistrates Court is a court of record and may hear and decide claims for wages & claims for damages suffered by an employee because of the employer neglecting to pay the employee’s wages (among other matters). An appeal may be made to the Industrial Court of Queensland from the decision of a Magistrate. Appeals are to be instituted within 21 days of receipt of the decision.

  • Sections 4, 7, 289, 291, 292, 293, 341, 342, 346, 348, 349, 399, Schedules 1, 5; Rules 101, 102, 103, 132, 135, 139, 144 of the Industrial Relations (Tribunals) Rules 2011

It is difficult for a party to proceedings to be represented by a lawyer. In most instances consent of all the parties is required or relevant leave of the decision-making entity.

  • Section 319; Rules 125, 136 of the Industrial Relations (Tribunals) Rules 2011

Proceedings in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission & Industrial Magistrates Court are not bound by technicalities, legal forms or rules of evidence. Note: This rule does not apply to proceedings for recovery of amounts or offences against this Act.

  • Section 320; Rule 48 of the Industrial Relations (Tribunals) Rules 2011

An employer must keep a time and wages record for each employee. In addition, an employee register must be kept. An employee may inspect the time and wages record (to review their particulars) once every 12 months.

  • Sections 4, 366, 367, 368, 375, Schedule 5

When paying an employee wages, the employer must state how the payment is made up by giving a written statement to the employee. The particulars required for the statement is set out in subsection 370(2) of the Act. Particulars include: the period covered by the payment, the gross wages paid, the net wages paid and the amount of contribution paid to a super fund.

  • Sections 4, 370, Schedule 5

An employee, whose wages remain unpaid for 24 hours after they are payable and have been demanded by the employee, may serve a contractor with an attachment notice in the approved form. The effect of the notice is that the contractor is to retain, from the amounts payable to an employer in relation to contracted works, an amount sufficient to satisfy the claim for wages specified in the notice. The retained moneys are to be dealt with according to orders of the Industrial Magistrates Court. Note: If an employer has used a subcontractor with employees, the subcontractor’s employees also have rights to serve an attachment notice.

  • Sections 4, 376, 381, 382, 383, 384, 387, 388, 390, Schedule 5; Rules 101, 102 and 103 of the Industrial Relations (Tribunals) Rules 2011

An employer must not deduct from an employee’s wages an amount for paying the employee’s membership subscription for an industrial association.

  • Sections 4, 391A, Schedule 5

An employee’s wages must be paid at least monthly to the employee.

  • Sections 4, 393, Schedule 5

An amount paid to an employee that the employee is not entitled to because of absence from work, may be recovered by the employer by deducting amounts from the employee’s wages for subsequent pay period/s.

  • Sections 4, 396, Schedule 5; Regulation 12 of the Industrial Relations Regulation 2011

The government may make a code of practice for the purpose of ensuring that outworkers in the clothing industry receive their lawful entitlements. The code may impose standards on employers in the clothing industry. A contravention of the code is an offence.

  • Section 400I

A mortgagee (e.g. bank/financial institution) may be liable to pay wages of farming/mining employees where the mortgagee has taken possession of the land/mine, sold machinery, etc pursuant to the mortgage.

  • Sections 4, 401, 402, 403, Schedule 5

An employer must pay super to the employee’s super fund at the level required by the relevant industrial instrument.

  • Sections 4, 406, Schedule 5

An employee may make an application to the Industrial Magistrates Court for an order for payment of unpaid superannuation contributions.

  • Section 408; Rules 101, 102, 103 of the Industrial Relations (Tribunals) Rules 2011

A private employment agent must not directly or indirectly demand or receive from a person, other than a model or performer, looking for work a fee for finding, or attempting to find, the person work. Note: A model or performer is to receive a special notice from the private employment agent in relation to the fee payable and the fee payable must not exceed a specified percentage of the gross amount payable.

  • Sections 408A, 408B, 408C, 408D, 408F, 408G; Regulations 13, 14, 15, Schedule 1 of the Industrial Relations Regulation 2011; Rules 101, 102, 103, 188 of the Industrial Relations (Tribunals) Rules 2011

An association (unincorporated body or entity) may apply to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission for registration as an employee or employer organisation.

  • Sections 409, 413, 414, 415, 416, 417, 419, 420, 421, 422, 423, 424, 425, 428, 544, 545, 546, 547, 553A, 553B, 554, 555, 557C, 557E, 557F, 557H, 558, 655A; Regulations 18, 32, 40B, 40C, 41, 42, Schedules 2B, 3 of the Industrial Relations Regulation 2011; Rules 189, 202 of the Industrial Relations (Tribunals) Rules 2011

A person may apply to be a member of an organisation where they are eligible to do so by virtue of their occupation or employment. Admission is generally within 3 months of application and is to be acknowledged by the issue of a union/membership card.

  • Sections 531, 532, 533, 534, 537, 539

The employer of a workplace where an industrial instrument has application must display a copy of the instrument, in a conspicuous place at the workplace where it is easily read by the employees in the workplace.

  • Section 697

An ex-employee may ask an ex-employer for a certificate of employment on termination. The certificate must include the employment start and end dates.

  • Section 700; Regulation 146 of the Industrial Relations Regulation 2011

The Industrial Relations (Tribunals) Rules 2011 contain the rules that apply to proceedings before the Industrial Court of Queensland, the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission, the Industrial Magistrates Court and the Industrial Registry. Pursuant to these rules, an application must be filed in the approved form to commence proceedings & in most instances the application is to be accompanied by an affidavit. Note: Claims before the Industrial Magistrates Court are subject to different rules e.g. the claim application must be signed by a justice of the peace.

  • Rules 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 36, 37, 39, 51, 52, 53, 65, 101, 102, 103, 106, 107, 110, 224, 225, 226, Schedule 1 of the Industrial Relations (Tribunals) Rules 2011
Reason for law

To provide a framework for industrial relations that supports economic prosperity and social justice. (Section 3)

Relevant links

[Fair Work Ombudsman] [Fair Work Commission] [Notice to Private Sector Employees and Employers]
Awards and wages [Queensland Government] Awards and wages – Business and industry portal [Queensland Government]

Industrial Relations [Queensland Government]
Public holiday dates
Codes of practice and guidelines
Private Employment Agents

Industrial Court of Queensland/Queensland Industrial Relations Commission
Forms
Information Sheets
Practice Notes
General Rulings and Statements of Policy
Published Decisions
Awards Online
Certified Agreements
Register of Industrial Organisations

Magistrates Court [Queensland Courts]
Forms
Practice Directions

Public Service Commission

Electoral Commission Queensland
Other Elections (Industrial Election, Protected Action Ballot)
Current Industrial Elections

Settling Disputes Out of Court [Queensland Government]

TANDA

Intern Aware

Fair Labor Association

Ribit

The New Kid

InternMe

Media article

Can you sue someone for giving you a bad reference?

Work councils could be the future of Australian industrial democracy in an ABCC world

Critique

The effect of subsection 71(4) is to penalise the employee for failing to provide adequate notice. It may not be fair to take away an employee’s reward for work performed.

‘Telex’ is mentioned in sections 229 and 318 as a method of communication. This may be an outdated method of communication.

Sections 250 and 268 may result in unfairness towards employees not involved in an industrial dispute/contravention of the Act.

The section 363 definition of ‘record’ contains references to the term ‘disk’. This is an outdated method of storing information.

The section 390 heading contains the phrase ‘ex parte’. This phrase may not be understood by members of the public.

Sections 495, 628 and 668 contain references to the term ‘utter’ (and variations of that term). This term may not be understood by members of the public.

Section 705 of the Act & Rule 95 of the Industrial Relations (Tribunals) Rules 2011 uses the term ‘misnomer’. This term may not be understood by members of the public.

Act section number 806 is duplicated.

Suggested further reading

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PLEASE NOTE: The information published on this webpage may be out-of-date. Please compare the currency date of the Act/Regulation against that published on the Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel website. If you require access to Commonwealth statute law, please visit the ComLaw website. If you require access to the local council laws (by-laws), please visit the Local laws database.

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