Workers to receive protections from workplace bullying, unfair pay

Workers are empowered to seek an order from the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission (WAIRC) to stop workplace bullying, as part of the state government’s proposed reforms to its industrial systems.

The WA Government is endeavouring to introduce anti-bullying powers to the WAIRC that mirror those of the Fair Work Commission.

According to a McGowan Government-funded research, 33 per cent of fly in, fly-out (FIFO) workers experienced high levels of psychological distress compared to 17 per cent of non-FIFO workers.

Further, the government will aim to provide a legislative equal remuneration framework for the WAIRC and require it to develop an equal remuneration principle.

These key reforms are part of 85 recommendations to ensure the state industrial relations system is modern, fair and accessible.

“The McGowan Government is pleased to announce our plans for the first round of reforms to modernise the state’s industrial relations system,” Western Australian Mines and Petroleum and Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston said.

“The government is committed to a fair safety net of wages and entitlements for all workers and these reforms will improve protections for workers across the state.

“The McGowan Government strongly believes in equality, so we want to give the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission the power to consider applications from groups of workers, almost certainly women, on whether they are receiving equal pay.”

It will also seek to modernise the Long Service Act 1958 and introduce penalties for non-compliance with the Act. The state government will aim to increase penalties for breaches of employment laws and strengthen industrial inspector powers.