Modern Awards and Legislation Update in 2020
Since the Christmas period until 31 January, there have been a few changes and updates to Modern Awards and WHS Codes of Practice. There has also been a flagged change in Victoria that has opened for public submissions.
Building & Construction Award Change Delayed
Changes that had been flagged for 1 January 2020 were pushed back to 1 July 2020. This announcement was made by the Fair Work Commission on the afternoon of 18 December 2019 – the last working week before Christmas.
Cement, Lime & Quarrying Award
The Cement and Lime Award has merged with the Quarry Award, to form the Cement, Lime & Quarrying Award. This merger became effective as of Tuesday 4 February.
Simple Language Update to All Awards
As part of an ongoing program, the FWC is making changes to the layout and language of the awards to help them be more easily understood. These updates will be released in three parts (or, tranches), the first of which were released this week. Updated Pay Rate Schedules for the following awards have been released, and clients under the following awards have been notified:
Banking, Finance and Insurance
Electrical Power Industry
Gardening and Landscaping Services
Hydrocarbons Industry (Upstream)
Market and Social Research
Real Estate Industry
Queensland WHS Code of Practice Updates
WHS Queensland released updates to three new codes of practice concerning electrical safety. The update came into effect on 2 January. Businesses operating in Queensland must ensure they comply with the updated codes.
The three updated codes were:
Electrical Safety Codes of Practice 2020 – Electrical equipment rural industry
Electrical Safety Codes of Practice 2020 – Working near overhead and underground electric lines
Electrical Safety Codes of Practice 2020 – Works
Consultation on Victorian first aid kits
WorkSafe Victoria has released a draft code of practice on first aid in the workplace. The draft suggests the including of asthma-relieving inhalers and spacers and epinephrine auto-injectors (EpiPens) in first aid kits, as well as a number of other updates.
The draft is available for public comment until 18 February 2020.
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