Industrial Relations Commission downsized - Public Service Association

Industrial Relations Commission downsized


Greg Smith SC MP
Attorney General, Minister for Justice

Mike Baird MP
NSW Treasurer, Minister for Industrial Relations


Four senior judges of the Industrial Relations Commission will retire early next year, ahead of the mandatory retirement age of 72, Attorney General Greg Smith SC and Minister for Industrial Relations Mike Baird announced today.

“The decision of the judges to retire early reflects the drastically reduced workload of the Commission, which has seen the number of filings fall from over 900 per year to less than 100 over the past nine years mainly as a result of the transfer of private sector workers to the federal industrial relations system,” Mr Baird said.

“The Commission’s President, Justice Roger Boland, acknowledged that by the end of 2013 the court is expected to generate enough work for only one judge,” he said.

Justice Boland and his colleagues Justice Wayne Haylen, Justice Conrad Staff, and Justice Anna Backman have agreed to retire from February 2014. They will be entitled to an early retirement package and all four will be entitled to the full judicial pension in 2014.

“I thank Justice Boland for his leadership of the court and I appreciate the work and commitment he and his colleagues have shown to the work of the Commission. The Government acknowledges their dedicated service and their combined 38 years of service on the court,” said Mr Smith.

The Industrial Relations Commission regulates public sector and local government employment in NSW. It exercises non-judicial functions including conciliation of industrial disputes, award setting and review when sitting as the Commission. In its role as the Industrial Court, the IRC exercises certain judicial functions as a court of superior record.

“The current Vice President Michael Walton will be appointed President of the Industrial Relations Commission from February. He will exercise both judicial and arbitrarial functions in future cases, preserving the current structure of the IRC,” Mr Smith said.

The judges may be considered to serve part-time on NSW tribunals and other bodies and Justice Haylen is expected to continue as a part-time member of the Administrative Decisions Tribunal.

The Government will introduce legislation to enable judges of the Industrial Court to sit on the Supreme Court or Land and Environment Court and vice versa with the consent of the Chief Justice, in order to create flexibility to meet temporary increases in workload. Legislation would also transfer the functions of the Full Bench of the Industrial Court to a division of the Supreme Court.

Media Release – NSW Govt – Industrial Relations Commission Transformed 11 September 2013

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