dylan gillis

The National Retail Association has today thrown its support behind the proposed changes to the Queensland Industrial Relations Act, saying the reforms contained important measures to crack down on sexual harassment in the workplace.

The NRA, a registered union of employers, said the proposed changes to harassment provisions would create stronger and safer workplaces for all employees.

NRA Chief Executive Officer Dominique Lamb said the changes were overdue, and would send a clear message that sexual harassment had no place in the modern Queensland workplace.

“These are serious workplace issues, and it’s only right that the workplace watchdog has the power to investigate complaints, just as it would with any other inappropriate workplace behaviour.”

Ms Lamb also supported the move to strengthen the definition of a union, saying that organisations seeking to represent themselves as unions should be required to meet high standards of accountability.

“The National Retail Assocation is a union of employers, which means we have gone through the rigorous requirements for democratic elections, training for directors and avoiding conflicts of interests among key personnel,” Ms Lamb said.

“There are also a range of other prudential and regulatory requirements which we must meet in order to call ourselves a union under state and federal law.

“It costs the NRA tens of thousands of dollars every year to comply with those requirements, including, for example, engaging an independent third party to conduct elections for our board.

“That’s a price we are prepared to pay for the privilege of operating within the workplace relations system, both in Queensland and federally.

“We strongly support the right of workers or businesses to join any association they want to join, but we think an association should be required to meet the same standards of accountability and transparency that we are required to meet if they want to call themselves a union.”