AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS COMMISSION

Award Simplification Panel Changes

Responsibility for award simplification is to be spread throughout the Australian Industrial Relations Commission under changes announced by Commission President Justice Geoffrey Giudice today.

Justice Giudice said the six-Member specialist Award Simplification Panel, which was established in February last year and headed by Senior Deputy President Jan Marsh, would be disbanded from September 1 and simplification work assigned to Members across the Commission.

Senior Deputy President Marsh would remain in a coordinating role with responsibility for overseeing progress on award simplification while Members of the specialist Panel would be reassigned to industry Panels.

Justice Giudice said award simplification work currently underway before Members of the Award Simplification Panel would, in general, be completed by those Members, but files upon which no substantial work had been done would be sent to the industry Panel Heads for reallocation.

"The Specialist Panel has played an important role in managing the task of award simplification in its early stages, but it is now time to spread the work among all Members of the Commission," Justice Giudice said.

"The changes aim to extend expertise in award simplification throughout the Commission and provide some efficiencies such as allowing for simplification hearings and conferences to be programmed in conjunction with other proceedings."

Under the Workplace Relations and Other Legislation Amendment Act, the Commission is required to review all federal awards to ensure they contain only the 20 allowable matters specified in Section 89A(2) of the Workplace Relations Act and that they meet certain other legislative criteria.

A new list of Panel assignments can be found on the AIRC Home Page (http://www.airc.gov.au).

Friday, 27 August 1999