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Agreements’ end nears

THE Workplace Agreements, introduced by the Court Government will have, at most, one year to run from September 15.

On that date the Gallop Government will introduce the final tranche of the State’s new industrial laws, which will include the repeal of the Workplace Agreements Act and the introduction of the controversial Employer-Employee Agreements.

Consumer and Employment Protection Minister John Kobelke said he expected WA’s industrial relations system to stabilise once the final part of Labor’s IR laws came into effect.

Many small businesses have been waiting to see how the EEAs will be structured.

These businesses still want some form of individual contract system but do not have the ability to go to the Federal Australian Workplace Agreements system.

Several businesses have told WA Business News they believe EEAs will offer a viable alternative.

However, Workplace Professionals principal consultant Tony Thompson said EEAs would not provide the answers employers were looking for.

“The Government has framed all of its legislation to channel employers and employees towards union collective agreements,” he said.

“The EEA system can be over-ridden by one employee saying he or she wants a union agreement. If that union agreement becomes registered the employer cannot offer EEAs to any new employees in that area and the existing EEAs cannot be renewed.

“The EEAs will not provide certainty.”

The first tranche of WA’s new IR laws came into effect on August 1 and included provisions to strengthen the role of the WA Industrial Relations Commission.

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