Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC)

The Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) deals with industrial disputes and industrial matters. It is an independent tribunal established under the Industrial Relations Act 2016 which conciliates and arbitrates industrial matters.

The QIRC plays an essential role in ensuring the social and economic wellbeing of Queenslanders employees through a framework provided by the Industrial Relations Act 2016. It achieves this by ensuring that employers adhere to their obligations under the Industrial Relations Act 2016 and by providing a forum in which employees and employers can come to a resolution of their disputes in a cost-effective and non-adversarial manner through conciliation and arbitration.

The QIRC is made up of a president, vice president, a deputy president and other industrial commissioners. The QIRC is a lay tribunal, meaning that members of the QIRC (except for the president and vice president) are not lawyers but have a high level of experience in business, government or industrial relations.

Industrial disputes the QIRC deals with

The QIRC deals with industrial disputes and matters for State system (State and Local government) employees. An industrial matter is one that affects or relates to work done or to be done, or the privileges, rights or functions of employees or employers or persons who have been, or propose to be, or who may become, employees or employers. It also includes a matter the court or the QIRC considers has been or may be a cause or contributory cause of an industrial action or industrial dispute.

The QIRC resolves industrial disputes by conciliation of industrial matters or if necessary, by arbitration or making an order. This is a more cost-effective manner of resolving disputes (as opposed to going to Court) as there are generally no costs to starting a matter, unless certain exceptions apply (click QIRC Frequently Asked Questions to read more).

The QIRC has jurisdiction over the following matters arising in Queensland:

  • appeals against the Workers’ Compensation Regulator;
  • work-related discrimination complaints which are referred to the QIRC by the Queensland Human Rights Commission;
  • Work-related application for exemptions for provisions of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991;
  • public services appeals;
  • trading hours;
  • some work health and safety appeals and reviews;
  • applications for payment instead of taking long service leave; and
  • applications for unpaid long service leave.

The QIRC also has jurisdiction over State system employees (employees in State or Local government) in relation to:

  • unfair dismissal;
  • industrial disputes
  • general protections;
  • awards;
  • certified agreements; and
  • anti-discimination and workplace bullying claims.

Fair Work Commission

The Fair Work Commission was established by the Fair Work Act 2009.  They set the minimum wages for Australia and help with issues in the workplace.

The Fair Work Commission is Australia’s national workplace relations tribunal.

Employees employed by private, Fair Work system or National Employment Standard employers will have their matters dealt with by the Fair Work Commission.