Last updated 5 February 2019
Legislation passed by state and federal governments requires both the employer and employee to regulate their conduct in relation to one another by imposing certain minimum standards. In that regard, relevant minimum standards are imposed in Queensland by the:
- Industrial Relations Act 2016 (Qld) (Industrial Relations Act)
- Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld) (Anti-discrimination Act)
- Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) (WHS Act)
- Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Qld) (WCR Act).
Employees who are employed in the Queensland public sector or by a Queensland local government are covered by the above legislation, however, the unique position of those employees is beyond the scope of this chapter.
All employees who are employed by an employer other than the Queensland public sector or a Queensland local government are covered by the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (Fair Work Act). The Queensland Industrial Relations Act mirrors numerous provisions in the Fair Work Act including those related to workplace bullying and harassment, and general protections.
In addition, there are various federal laws dealing with discrimination, which impact on all contracts of employment.
Despite federal control of industrial relations, there are still some elements of the working relationship that continue to be regulated by state legislation.
In Queensland, a compulsory workers’ compensation scheme is provided by the WCR Act, requiring all employers to insure their employees against injury or illness occurring at work, or in circumstances that are considered to be work related. Similarly, the Anti-discrimination Act and the WHS Act also apply to employees in the federal system.