Circulars

CIRCULARS

TTIA issues circulars to Members on a regular basis with updated information regarding Awards, industrial relations, occupational health and safety and general articles of interest for Members in the timber and timber products industry. Please click on the link.

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17 May RECENT CHANGES TO THE TIMBER INDUSTRY AWARD 2020 IN MAY 2022

As part of the ‘plain language’ re-drafting aspect of the 4 yearly review of modern awards, the Fair Work Commission has recently made a number of changes to the Timber Industry Award 2020.  Whilst many of the changes are, as the name suggests, ‘plain language’ amendments, there are also other changes that members should be aware of.  We have made some comments about various changes – Members see emailed Member Alert dated 17 May 2022.
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01 Mar EMERGENCY FLOODING IN NSW/QLD

Members would be aware of the deluge and weather-related havoc being caused on the east coast at present. This affects a number of TTIA Members, particularly those on the far north coast.

I have provided a summary to explain the options available to TTIA Members in the affected areas – see Member Circulars – Urgent Member Advice. If you are any doubt, please contact the Association for more advice and support.

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31 Jan ELECTION OF TTIA COUNCIL MEMBERS – E2021/92

Nominations are called for:Timber Trade Industrial Association-Councillor (8) Nominations, which must be in writing and comply with the registered rules of the Organisation and may be made at any time from 9:00 am Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT) 31/01/2022. Additional forms are available from the Returning Officer. Prospective candidates and nominators should verify their financial status and any other qualifications required by the Organisation’s rules prior to lodging nominations. Nominations must reach the Returning Officer via the lodgement method(s) stipulated below not later than 4:00 pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT) on 14/02/2022.
Nomination forms have been emailed to all TTIA financial Members. If you require further forms contact ttia@ttia.asn.au
HOW TO LODGE NOMINATIONS
Nominations must be lodged via the portal or email to IEBnominations@aec.gov.au

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13 Dec CONSULTATION KEY TO ENFORCING MANDATORY VACCINATIONS IN THE WORKPLACE

A Full Bench decision of the Fair Work Commission [CFMMEU & Matthew Howard v Mt Arthur Coal Pty Ltd T/A Mt Arthur Coal [2021] FWCFB 6059] has overturned a vaccine mandate introduced by BHP on 7 October this year at the Mt Arthur open cut coal mine in NSW citing that it was not a reasonable direction due to a failure to properly consult with employees prior to the implementation of the new policy and that any direction to an employee must be both lawful and reasonable.

The vaccine mandate had required employees to:

– have a single dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine by 10 November 2021; and
– must be fully vaccinated by 31 January 2022.

Employees were informed that if they attended the workplace after midnight on 9 November 2021, they would not be permitted access to the workplace unless they provided their employer with evidence that they had had at least a single dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine.

An application was made by the CFMMEU under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) seeking that the Fair Work Commission deal with a dispute under the dispute resolution procedure in the employer’s enterprise agreement. There was agreement between both parties that the question of whether the vaccination mandate was a lawful and reasonable direction be arbitrated by the Fair Work Commission.

The Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission held that the vaccine mandate was not a reasonable decision because BHP had failed to properly consult its employees prior to implementing the policy. It found that BHP had engaged in ‘scant consultation’.

This decision reminds employers of the importance of compliance with consultation provisions within the Work Health & Safety legislation (being sections 47-49 for the NSW legislation).

Whilst the Fair Work Commission highlighted the lack of consultation, there were factors in favour of finding that the vaccine mandate was reasonable as follows:

– it was directed at ensuring the health and safety of the employees
– it had a logical and understandable basis.
– it was a reasonably proportionate response to the risk created by COVID-19.
– it was developed having regard to the circumstances at the workplace, including the fact that the employees cannot work from home and they come into contact with other employees whilst at work.
– the timing for its commencement was determined by reference to circumstances pertaining to NSW and the local area at the relevant time; and
– it was only implemented after Mt Arthur spent a considerable amount of time encouraging vaccination and setting up a vaccination hub for workers at the workplace.

The Full Bench decision held that there would have been a “strong case” for introducing the vaccine mandate had BHP consulted properly.

TTIA Members wishing to enforce a vaccine mandate should ensure they engage in a meaningful consultation before making any decision to implement a mandatory vaccination policy.

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24 Nov SOUTH AUSTRALIA OPENS BORDERS

Key points:

Fully vaccinated travellers from Victoria and New South Wales will be permitted to enter SA from Tuesday 23 November, except for Byron Bay which is yet to hit a vaccination rate of 80 per cent.

Double-vaccinated domestic travellers will be able to head into SA without quarantining (unless travellers from LGAs with community transmission and less than 80 per cent fully vaccinated).

Anyone entering South Australia will need to register their details.

Exemptions can still be processed for unvaccinated travellers.

International arrivals will have the current quarantine duration halved.

7 days quarantine for vaccinated international travellers, 14 days for unvaccinated authorised arrivals.

Masks and density requirements remain.

EntryCheck SA is a new entry process to protect South Australia and minimise the impact of COVID-19 as our borders open.

From 23 November 2021, all people planning to travel to South Australia from interstate and overseas, including returning South Australians, must apply through EntryCheck SA.

Note: EntryCheck SA is available for people planning to travel to South Australia after 12.01 am 23 November 2021.

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11 Oct 11 October – 70% FULLY VACCINATED—REOPENING COMMENCES FOR NSW

The NSW Government has announced its roadmap to re-opening now that the state has reached the 70% double vaccinated target. Restrictions will be further eased once 80% of the eligible population are double-dosed. By 1 December 2021, NSW will be fully re-opened (including to those not fully vaccinated) subject to density limits and social distancing requirements.

https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/business-rules-for-nsw#toc-work

TTIA Members can refer to circular email sent today for further information.

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17 Jul Further restrictions for Greater Sydney Regions and additional stay at home rules for Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool LGAs

The following changes come into effect across Greater Sydney including the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour until 11.59pm on Friday, 30 July:

Retail premises will be required to close (‘click and collect’, takeaway and home delivery can still operate), except the following can remain open:

From 11.59pm on Saturday, 17 July:

  • Supermarkets and grocery stores (including butchers, bakeries, fruit and vegetable stores, liquor stores and fishmongers);
  • Stores that predominantly sell health, medical, maternity and infant supplies;
  • Pharmacies and chemists; 
  • Petrol stations;
  • Car hire;
  • Banks and financial institutions;
  • Hardware, nurseries and building supplies;
  • Agricultural and rural supplies;
  • Pet supplies;
  • Post offices and newsagents; and
  • Office supplies.

Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool LGAs

  • In addition to the stay-at-home rules, residents of Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown andLiverpool LGAs cannot leave their LGA for work except for emergency services and healthcare workers (including aged and disability workers). Where those workers do need to leave their LGA for work, they are required to be tested every three days, even if they do not have symptoms;

Click here for link to Fairfield LGA suburbs

Click here for link to Canterbury-Bankstown LGA suburbs

Click here for link to Liverpool LGA suburbs

Mask Requirements

  • Masks are mandatory in all indoor and outdoor work settings, in outdoor markets, outdoor shopping strips and in any outdoor queues such as takeaway food.

Carpooling

  • All carpooling to be stopped unless among members of the same household.

Construction/Renovation

From 12.01am on Monday, 19 July:

  • All construction to be paused; and
  • Non-urgent maintenance, including cleaning services, and repair work on residential premises to be paused.

Work from home

From 12.01am on Wednesday, 21 July:

  • Employers must allow employees to work from home if the employee is able to do so, failure to do so can result in a fine of up to $10,000.

Members are advised that manufacturing, harvesting, milling and processing have not been excluded from trading at this point in time. This is in contrast to the Public Health Order pausing all construction.   In addition, the government list above states that hardware, nurseries and building supplies can remain open.

Regional NSW

Restrictions in regional NSW remain unchanged. 

Click here for link to NSW Government restrictions

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15 Jul Greater Sydney Lockdown extended

The Greater Sydney lockdown will be extended for at least another two weeks after NSW recorded 97 new Covid cases.  Premier Gladys Berejiklian has said that the stay-at-home order, which also includes the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour is now expected to end at 11.59pm on Friday July 30.

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