Strategic plan for 2021-2025
The Office of Industrial Relations is a division of the Department of Education (DoE) and aligns with the DoE’s Strategic Plan 2021-2025 to deliver a great future for every Queenslander.
Office of Industrial Relations Strategy 2021-2024
In response to operating in a time of rapid change and experiencing growing demand for high levels of service, the Office of Industrial Relations Strategy 2021-2024.pdf (1.3M) provides a clear direction and clear priorities for our people and collaborators, in order to achieve our vision while maintaining our core purpose.
We are focused on three important priorities that guide our work and our decisions:
- Industry, community and partnerships – strengthening respectful engagement with our stakeholders.
- Regulatory standards – delivering regulatory standards and services to ensure those most at risk are protected.
- Our people – supporting and investing in our people to deliver our priorities.
Achievements in 2020
Last year was a year of major disruption and change, which resulted in a number of achievements:
- Finalised the prosecution of Ardent Leisure for the deaths of four people at Dreamworld in 2016, sentenced in the Southport Magistrates Court and fined $3.6m with convictions recorded.
- Launched People at Work - an online psychosocial risk assessment survey that allows businesses to benchmark and measure psychosocial hazards and factors.
- Developed a new WorkSafe website.
- Delivered fully digital programs for Safe Work Month, Electricity Safety Week, Mental Health Week and Asbestos Awareness Week, with record attendances and overwhelmingly positive feedback.
- Introduced the Criminal Code and Other Legislation (Wage Theft) Amendment Bill 2020 to criminalise wage theft in Queensland.
- Held over 350 virtual medical assessment tribunals between April and December enabling continuity of services for the benefit of the Queensland workers’ compensation scheme and meet the needs of injured workers.
- provided pandemic response support to Queensland Health by assessing COVID safe industry plans, event plans and site-specific plans
- continued support for Injury Prevention and Management program registered employers despite the mandated lock down and ongoing restrictions for onsite visits
- worked with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries interagency group to undertake work health and safety audits before fruit pickers arrived under the Seasonal Worker Programme and Pacific Labour Scheme
- ensured our people stayed COVID-19 safe through a risk management protocol while continuing to visit workplaces
- managed 12,000 calls, 4,000 written enquiries and 8,000 licence applications each month
- reached a significant milestone with the release of the new high-risk work assessor portal
- coordinated 146 assessor evaluations and commenced 23 investigations involving high risk work (HRW) licence holders and accredited assessors
- completed 2,257 workers’ compensation reviews within an average of 21 business days after being allocated to a review officer
- finalised 220 workers’ compensation appeals and reduced the number of open appeals by 11 per cent
- completed 295 work health and safety and electrical safety internal reviews within legislative timeframes and finalised 21 external reviews
- aligned workers’ compensation scheme education to the National Rehabilitation and Return to Work Strategy 2020-2030.
Focuses for 2021
- Boost the Labour Hire Licensing Compliance Unit with an additional eight frontline inspectors.
- Continue to implement initiatives responding to recommendations from the Best Practice Review of Workplace Health and Safety Queensland Final Report 2017.
- Review the Electrical Safety Act 2002 including safety switch requirements.
- Investigate options for a portable long service leave scheme for nurses and midwives working in Queensland.
- Implement the Agricultural Electrical Safety Strategy to reduce electrical incidents in the agricultural industry.
- Finalise engagement and consultation on extending workers’ compensation to gig economy workers.
- Implement an action plan to improve the workers’ compensation experience and mental health outcomes for first responders with trauma-related psychological injuries.
- Undertake a five-yearly review of the Industrial Relations Act 2016 including an investigation into protection for workers subject to sexual harassment.
- Invest up to $5 million over four years for medical research into treatment to support and improve the health and wellbeing of workers suffering occupational dust lung diseases.
- Establish a tripartite industrial relations education committee to assist in the prevention of wage theft and to help affected workers recover lost wages and employment entitlements.
- Work with the Asbestos Disease Support Society and unions to finalise the State-wide Strategic Plan for the Safe Management of Asbestos in Queensland 2020-2023.
- Develop codes of practice and compliance and education campaigns for silica and psychological hazards to ensure clear standards and compliance.