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Unions NSW has warned that the Baird Government’s proposal to water down the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) could have significant consequences for working rights in New South Wales.

The Baird Government is proposing to remove judicial functions from the IRC and shift them to the Supreme Court. 

This would involve moving the sole remaining judicial member of the Commission to the Supreme Court. 

Unions NSW Secretary Mark Morey said the removal of the judicial function would be a retrograde step for industrial relations in NSW.

“This step is entirely consistent with the modus operandi of the Baird Government, which is to dilute every check and balance on the Premier’s power,” Mr Morey said. 

“There is no practical justification for this watering down of the Industrial Relations Commission’s longstanding functions. 

“It seems that Mike Baird and his government simply want to remove an institution that specialises in industrial relations law.

“Instead we will now see industrial matters dealt with by judges who are more used to dealing with commercial or criminal matters. 

“It will be slower, more unwieldy, and ultimately, more costly.

“Shifting the judicial function out of the Commission would have a detrimental effect on the state’s industrial system by removing judicial experience and knowledge from the Industrial Relation Commissions’ non-judicial functions."

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace-relations/nsw-government-to-integrate-industrial-court-with-supreme-court-20160823-gqytdk.html

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