Industrial Relations Commission of New South Wales
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The Industrial Relations Commission of New South Wales conciliates and arbitrates industrial disputes, sets conditions of employment and fixes wages and salaries by making industrial awards, approves enterprise agreements and decides claims of unfair dismissal in New South Wales, a state of Australia. It was first established following the abolition of the Industrial Commission of New South Wales set up under the Industrial Relations Act, 1991 (NSW) in 1996.
Industrial courts first began in New South Wales in 1901 with the establishment of the Court of Arbitration (New South Wales) established pursuant to the Industrial Arbitration Act, 1901 (NSW). Industrial courts have undergone many changes since then depending on the flavour of government in office. In 1908, they were called the Industrial Court of New South Wales established under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1908 (NSW). In 1912, they were called the Court of Industrial Arbitration of New South Wales which was established pursuant to the Industrial Arbitration Act, 1912 (NSW). In 1926, the Industrial Arbitration (Amendment) Act, 1926 (NSW) abolished the Court of Industrial Arbitration and set up another Industrial Commission of New South Wales. In 1991, the Industrial Commission was replaced with the Industrial Relations Commission of New South Wales constituted under the Industrial Relations Act, 1991. In 1996, the 1991 Industrial Commission was replaced with the Industrial Relations Commission of New South Wales constituted under the Industrial Relations Act, 1996 (NSW). In 2009, the Commission's jurisdiction was significantly reduced by the Industrial Relations (Commonwealth Powers) Act, 2009 (NSW) which transferred jurisdiction for the entire private sector to Fair Work Australia, a Commonwealth Government body.
Under the Industrial Relations Act 1996, the Commission has the function of setting remuneration and other conditions of employment for employees, resolving industrial disputes, hearing and determining other industrial matters such as claims for unfair dismissal, unfair contract and victimisation.
The Minister for Industrial Relations may refer any matter to the Commission for the Commission to inquiry and report upon.
In exercising its jurisdiction, the Commission must take into account the public interest, the objects of the Industrial Relations Act 1996, and the state of the economy of New South Wales and the likely effect of its decisions on the economy. However, this doesn't apply when considering criminal proceedings relating to prosecutions for breaches of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 2000 (NSW) in the Industrial Court of NSW (formerly referred to as the Commission in Court Session).
The Commission may also sit as a Full Bench for the purposes of hearing Appeals against the decisions of single members, hearing a 'Special Case' or to determine difficult questions referred by a single member to the Full Bench for determination.
The Commission also has jurisdiction over certain Police disciplinary matters, while some members hold dual roles on other remuneration tribunals (SOORT) and as dual appointees to the Australian Industrial Relations Commission.
The Commission consists of a president and a vice-president appointed by the Governor of New South Wales. The governor may also appoint deputy presidents (also referred to as presidential members) and Commissioners. A full bench of the Commission will usually comprise at least three members (often headed by the President or Vice-President who will be accompanied by one or more Deputy Presidents and/or a Commissioner. The Full Bench does sometimes sit as a four or five member full bench.
The current Commission composition is:
|President||The Hon. Justice Roger Boland||a|
|Vice-President||The Hon. Justice Michael John Walton||a|
|Members||The Hon. Justice Frank Marks||a|
|The Hon. Deputy President Rod Harrison||b|
|The Hon. Justice Tricia Kavanagh||a|
|The Hon. Justice Wayne Haylen||a|
|The Hon. Justice Conrad Staff||a|
|The Hon. Justice Anna Backman||a|
|Commissioner Inaam Tabbaa AM|
|Commissioner Elizabeth Bishop|
|Commissioner Alastair Macdonald||b|
|Commissioner David Richie|
|Commissioner John D. Stanton||b|
- ^a These Presidential members are also Judicial members of the Industrial Court of New South Wales, established as a superior court of record pursuant to section 152 of the Industrial Relations Act 1996
- ^b These members are dual appointees of Fair Work Australia
- "Members of the Industrial Relations Commission". Industrial Relations Commission. NSW Government: Attorney General and Justice. Retrieved 10 April 2012.