Queensland to review industrial laws

·1-min read

The Queensland government will review its industrial relations laws with a special focus on introducing further protections for courier drivers and clamping down on workplace sexual harassment.

The review of the Industrial Relations Act 2016 will commence in the coming weeks Education Minister Grace Grace says, with a focus on ensuring contemporary industrial protections that "keep pace with the changes in work".

Ms Grace says the review will explore protections for workers in short-term employment and how state industrial relations laws interact with federal laws with regard to casual employment.

It will also examine the implementation and effectiveness of reforms following the most recent review in 2015 - the first in 17 years.

"Significant workplace issues have been identified in recent times, namely in the Respect@work: Sexual Harassment National Inquiry Report," Ms Grace said in parliament on Tuesday.

"Events in Canberra have shown that workers in any workplace can be the victims of sexual harassment and gender inequity.

"That's why these pressing issues will be addressed in the review, including the relevant recommendations from the Respect@work report in our IR laws, such as industrial protections for workers subjected to sexual harassment and powers for the QIRC (Queensland Industrial Relations Commission) to make anti sexual harassment orders."

Former attorney-general Linda Lavarch and former Queensland industrial relations commissioner John Thompson will lead the review.

The state government will also invest $5 million over four years for research that improves the health and wellbeing of Queensland workers with occupational dust lung diseases, particularly those with silicosis and coal workers pneumoconiosis.

Expressions of interest for taking part in the research project are open until June 14 for workers with occupational dust lung diseases.

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