The Industrial Court of Queensland is a superior court of record. The Industrial Court hears appeals on error of law or lack or excess of jurisdiction against decisions of the Commission, Industrial Registrar or Industrial Magistrates.
By s. 410 of the Industrial Relations Act 2016, the Industrial Court is constituted by the President or Deputy President (Court).
Members of the Court are:
The Hon. Justice Glenn C. Martin AM
Deputy President Daniel L. O'Connor
By virtue of s. 434 of the Industrial Relations Act 2016, the President of the Court is also President of the Commission. The President may preside on a Full Bench of the Commission and, for certain matters under the Act, the Full Bench must include the President.
An appeal against a decision of a Full Bench which included the President lies to the Queensland Court of Appeal.
The court is the final appeal court for claims for unpaid wages and prosecutions under the Industrial Relations Act 2016 where the penalty does not exceed 40 penalty units.
The court is also the final appeal court for prosecutions under the Coal Mining Safety and Health Act 1999, the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004, and the Mining and Quarrying Safety and Health Act 1999.
The Industrial Court hears Appeals against decisions of the Commission as well as Industrial Magistrates regarding the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003.
Appeals from decisions of Industrial Magistrates also include appeals under the Building and Construction Industry (Portable Long Service Leave) Act 1991; and the Private Employment Agents Act 2005.
The court may also order costs against a party to an application.
Week Commencing 26 November 2018
The Queensland Industrial Relations Commission is an independent tribunal established to conciliate and arbitrate industrial matters in the State of Queensland. Under current legislation, it derives its powers and functions from Chapter 11, Part 2 of the Industrial Relations Act 2016. The Commission plays a major role in contributing to the social and economic well-being of Queenslanders through furthering the objects of the Industrial Relations Act 2016 which are principally to provide a framework for industrial relations that supports economic prosperity and social justice.
Members of the Commission are the President, four Deputy Presidents and other Industrial Commissioners. The Commission is a lay tribunal. With the exception of the President, Members of the Commission are not required to be lawyers but are required to have a high level of experience in business, government or industrial relations.
Members of the Commission are:
The Hon. Justice Glenn C. Martin AM
Deputy President Daniel L. O'Connor
Deputy President Deidre A. Swan
Deputy President Adrian L. Bloomfield
Industrial Commissioner Glenys K. Fisher
Industrial Commissioner John M. Thompson
Industrial Commissioner Gary D. Black
Industrial Commissioner Minna L. Knight
The President is responsible for administration of the Commission and Registry, including allocation of matters, establishing industry panels for disputes, approving references to a Full Bench, and general conduct of Commission business.
Membership of Panels and Industry Assignments
Under s. 435(6) of the Act, the President may establish an industry panel.
The current panel has been in operation since 31 March 2017.
Please click here to view the panel.
Functions of the Commission
The Commission has powers and functions under various legislation:
Jurisdiction under the Industrial Relations Act 2016
- Modernising, approving, interpreting and enforcing awards that are non-discriminatory and provide fair wages and employment conditions;
- Assisting enterprise bargaining and certifying agreements that are reached;
- Resolving industrial disputes by conciliation and where necessary by arbitration;
- Resolving disputes over union coverage;
- Dealing with reinstatement applications;
- Determining claims for unpaid wages and superannuation contributions where the total claim is $50,000 or less;
- Determining applications to amend the name or eligibility rule of an organisation of employers or employees;
- Conducting enquiries into a claimed irregularity in an election for office bearers of an industrial organisation;
- Approving amalgamations of industrial organisations;
- Deciding whether an organisation's rules comply with the Act;
- Deciding applications about membership of an organisation.
Workers and employers can apply to the Workers' Compensation Regulator if they disagree with certain decisions made by their workers' compensation insurer. The Workers' Compensation Regulator impartially reviews claims decisions. Under s. 550 of the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003, if an employer or employee is aggrieved by the Workers' Compensation Regulator Review decision, either party can appeal to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission.
Jurisdiction under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991
The Commission has jurisdiction under section 174B of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 to hear work related complaints of alleged unlawful discrimination after they have been investigated and referred to the QIRC by the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland. The Industrial Relations Commission has the following functions;
(a) in relation to complaints about contraventions of the Act;
(i) make orders under section 144
(ii) review decisions of the ADCQ under section 169
(iii) enforce agreements for resolution and to hear and decide complaints
(b) to grant exemptions from this Act in relation to work-related matters;
(c) to provide opinions about the application of this Act in relation to work-related matters;
(d) any other function conferred on the commission by this Act;
(e) to take any other action incidental or conducive to the discharge of a function mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (d).
Jurisdiction under the Further Education and Training Act 2014
The Commission has jurisdiction under Chapter 6 Part 2 of the Further Education and Training Act 2014 to hear and determine appeals from decisions of the Chief Executive. These include decisions about registration or cancellation of training contracts, cancellation of completion certificates or qualifications, or declaration of a prohibited employer and disciplinary orders. In addition, a person who was a party to a training contract which has been cancelled by agreement may apply to the Commission, under s. 62, for the contract to be reinstated if the agreement to cancel was obtained by coercion.
Jurisdiction under the Trading (Allowable Hours) Act 1990
The Industrial Commission determines applications by non-exempt shops to vary trading hours under Part 5 of the Trading (Allowable Hours) Act 1990 (see s. 21). By s. 23 of that Act, the Commission may do so on its own initiative or on application by an organisation.
Under s. 23A(2) the President may refer a trading hours matter to a full bench of the Industrial Commission.
Jurisdiction under the Public Service Act 2008
QIRC members are appointed as Industrial Relations Commission Members for the purpose of hearing and deciding appeals under Chapter 7 of the Public Service Act 2008 against certain decisions which affect public service employees.
Jurisdiction under the Contract Cleaning Industry (Portable Long Service Leave) Act 2005
Section 97 of the Contract Cleaning Industry (Portable Long Service Leave) Act 2005 provides for an appeal to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission against a decision of the authority regarding retrospective credits.
Jurisdiction under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010
The Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 replaced the Whistleblowers Protection Act 1994 as at 1 January 2011. Chapter 4 (Protection), Part 3 (Injunctions), Section 48 (Right to apply to Industrial Commission) of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 is the section of relevance to the QIRC which replaced s. 47 of the now repealed Whistleblowers Protection Act 1994. This section provides that an application for an injunction about a reprisal may be made to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission if the reprisal has caused or may cause detriment to an employee.
Jurisdiction under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011
Section 142 provides that the Commission may deal with a dispute about the exercise or purported exercise by a WHS entry permit holder of a right of entry under this Act (including a dispute about whether a request under section 128 is reasonable). The Commission may deal with the dispute in any way it thinks fit, including by means of mediation, conciliation or arbitration.
If the Commission deals with the dispute by arbitration, it may make 1 or more of the following orders -
(a) an order imposing conditions on a WHS entry permit;
(b) an order suspending a WHS entry permit;
(c) an order revoking a WHS entry permit;
(d) an order about the future issue of WHS entry permits to 1 or more persons;
(e) any other order it considers appropriate.
Section 229F provides for appeals for persons dissatisfied with a decision, on internal review, by the Regulator under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. Appeals from review decisions of the Regulator are by way of a hearing de novo, that is, unaffected by the decision appealed from.
Jurisdiction under the Child Employment Act 2006
Under s. 15C of the Child Employment Act 2006, on the application of an inspector, or in a proceeding before the industrial commission under this part, including an appeal, the industrial commission may decide whether an agreement or arrangement reduces a child’s employment entitlements or protections.
In addition, under s. 15P of the Child Employment Act 2006, a person who alleges that the dismissal of a child from employment is by a constitutional corporation, and the dismissal is of a kind that could be the subject of an application under the Industrial Relations Act 1999, chapter 3 if the employer of the child were not a constitutional corporation, may apply to the Industrial Commission for an order that may be made under the dismissal provisions of the Industrial Relations Act 2016.
Also, under s. 27 of the Child Employment Act 2006 an affected person who is dissatisfied with a decision of the chief executive (under Part 2 of the Act) may appeal against the decision to the Industrial Commission.
Jurisdiction under the Magistrates Courts Act 1921
The Magistrates Courts Act 1921 (Part 5A) provides access to employees on low incomes to a low cost procedure in the Magistrates Court for claims by employees relating to breach of the contract of employment. These claims are available to employees earning up to $101,300 per year.
Commission Members are appointed to perform the functions of a conciliator prior to a matter being heard by a Magistrate.
Local Government Act 1993
A member of the Commission acts as the Chairperson of the Local Government Remuneration and Discipline Tribunal (the Tribunal).
The role of the Tribunal is to establish remuneration levels for elected representatives for all local governments in Queensland (except Brisbane City Council) on an annual basis as well as to consider serious complaints of misconduct and/or conflicts or interest by elected local government representatives.
The Tribunal is empowered to determine an appropriate penalty for any proved complaints of misconduct and/or conflict of interest, including making recommendations to the Minister for Local Government to the effect that an individual Councilor, or Councilors, be dismissed.
Functions of the Full Bench of the Commission
Some industrial matters must be dealt with by a Full Bench comprising of at least three Members of the Commission. The notable examples are:
- State Wage cases;
- Declaring persons to be employees; and
- General rulings.
A Full Bench of the Commission may hear appeals on the merits against decisions of a single Member if the Full Bench has given leave to appeal on the ground that it considers the matter important enough in the public interest.
For information on the Jurisprudential Expense Allowance and Education and Conference Expense Allowance. please click here.
The Industrial Registry
The Registry is a public service office whose duties and functions are provided in the Industrial Relations Act 2016. It provides administrative support to the Industrial Court of Queensland and the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission. Applications in the prescribed form in relation to matters to be dealt with by the Court, Commission or Registrar are filed in the Registry with the appropriate fee. The Registry also plays an important role in administering the provisions of the Industrial Relations Act 2016 which govern the affairs of industrial organisations - their financial accountability and annual returns, applications to change their rules or requests for elections. Registry staff cannot provide advice or comment on the merits of an application.
Counter enquiries: 8.30am to 4.45pm
*Registry services are not available on public holidays.