Industrial relations


​​Strategic objective: Fair and safe workplaces and communities

We are committed to ensuring workplaces and communit​ies prioritise safety, wellbeing and fairness to foster a progressive and prosperous society. By promoting fair pay and safe working conditions for all workers, we provide stability and confidence for a strong economy.

Industrial Relations Act 2016 (Qld) review

In November 2022, amendments to the Industrial Relations Act 2016 (Qld) commenced, following a 5-year review of the legislation which made 31 recommendations. Changes include:

  • boosting sexual harassment protections by enabling the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission to conciliate, arbitrate and issue injunctive relief to protect victims of sexual, sex or gender-based harassment
  • promoting gender pay equity in collective bargaining
  • extending access to 10-days paid family and domestic violence leave to casual employees
  • establishing arrangements for setting minimum standards for independent courier drivers and riders to improve working conditions
  • imposing penalties for unregistered unions that misrepresent their status.

Simplifying Queensland’s retail trading hours​

In August 2022, Queensland’s retail trading hours were streamlined through changes to the Trading (Allowable Hours) Act 1990 (Qld).

These changes simplify trading hours arrangements, including setting hours and limiting the number of trading hour areas. Protections for retail workers were also strengthened to ensure they are not coerced to work extended, unsociable hours.

Mental health at work

Creating mentally healthy workplaces across the state is a top priority to support Queensland workers and businesses.

On 1 April 2023, the managing the risk of psychosocial hazards at work Code of Practice 2022​ commenced to provide practical guidance about preventing harm from psychosocial hazards at work. This Code of Practice includes examples, case studies and templates to support businesses to manage risks that may cause psychological or physical harm.

Dust lung disease research and silicosis prevention​

We are committed to ensuring workers are safe from occupational dust lung diseases, such as silicosis and pneumoconiosis.

In July 2022, $3 million in research grants for occupational dust lung disease was awarded to improve prevention, enable early detection and support better treatment for workers. This is part of a broader $5 million commitment to fund medical research into occupational dust lung diseases.

In May 2023, the managing respirable crystalline silica dust exposure in construction and manufacturing of construction elements Code of Practice 2022​ commenced. This Code of Practice is an Australian-first and will support the construction industry to manage respirable crystalline silica risks in the workplace.

Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) review

Robust health and safety laws are critical to ensuring workers are protected.

In August 2022, a 5-yearly review of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) commenced to consider the overall effectiveness of key components of the Act.

On 1 May 2023, the government released the final report​ and government response to the review, with all 31 recommendations accepted. The main recommendations relate to enhancing the role of health and safety representatives (HSR) in the workplace, clarifying the rights of HSRs and worker representatives, and streamlining dispute resolution procedures.

Electrical Safety Act 2002 (Qld) review​

Since the Electrical Safety Act 2002 (Qld) was introduced, new and emerging technologies have changed the way Queenslanders use and interact with electricity.

On 16 May 2023, the government released the final report of the review of the Electrical Safety Act 2002 (Qld), which made 83 recommendations. A discussion paper was also released alongside the final report, encouraging public submissions on the key topics underpinning the electrical safety framework raised by the review:

  • electrical safety considerations of new and emerging technologies
  • the changing landscape of electricity and the workforce
  • electrical safety and electric vehicles.

The feedback received on the final report will inform government consideration of the final recommendations.

Electrical Safety Office partnership with The Wiggles

In Queensland, 1 in every 18 serious electrical incidents involves a child under the age of 15.

In 2022, the Electrical Safety Office partnered with The Wiggles to deliver electrical safety messages to young children, parents, families and guardians, including release of the song Electricity. The song helps build understanding about electricity and its dangers and has been viewed more than 2.1 million times since December 2022. There were 5 short electrical safety videos also released with specific information and advice for children, parents and families. These videos have been viewed more than 2.7 million times collectively.

The electrical safety resources​ are available.

Service area performance

Objective: To improve the wellbeing of all Queenslanders by making Queensland safer and supporting fair and productive workplaces.

Description: This service area contributes to a fair, safe and productive Queensland through a range of activities, including:

  • managing Queensland’s industrial relations framework, public sector bargaining and Queensland’s participation in the national workplace relations system
  • delivering work health and safety and electrical safety services
  • providing advice and standards to keep Queenslanders safe at work
  • delivering workers’ compensation services
  • providing labour hire licensing regulation.

Industrial relations performance​​ measures

Industrial relations2022–23 target/estimate2022–23 actual
​​Service: Industrial relations

​Effectiveness measures​

Overall client satisfaction with inspectorate's effectiveness and professionalism​​

Overall client satisfaction with the services and advice provided on public sector industrial relations90%95%

Efficiency measures​​

Cost of industrial relations services per Queensland worker1

Cost of public sector industrial and employee relations per Queensland public sector worker2 $7.08$7.26
Service: Work health and safety services

Effectiveness measure

Overall client satisfaction with inspectorate's effectiveness and professionalism3


Efficiency measure

Cost of Workplace Health and Safety Queensland services per Queensland worker4

​Service: Electrical safety service​s 2022–23 target/estimate 2022–23 actual

​​Effectiveness measures

Reduction in the number of reported serious electrical incidents over the year on a 5-year rolling average5

Overall client satisfaction with inspectorate's effectiveness and professionalism3 90%92%

Efficiency measure

​Cost of electrical safety services per person in Queensland

Service: Administration of the Industrial Court and Commission system

Effectiveness measure

Clearance rate of pending caseload6


Efficiency measure

Average cost of finalisation of a case in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission and Industrial Court of Queensland6

Service: Workers' compensation services

Effectiveness measure

Workers' compensation di​sputation rate


Efficiency measure

Cost of Workers’ Compensation Regulator service per Queensland worker4



  1. The variance between the 2022–23 target/estimate and the 2022–23 actual is due to stronger than originally forecast employment growth in Queensland and the deferral of Industrial Relations Workplace grants in June 2023.
  2. The variance between the 2022–23 target/estimate and the 2022–23 actual is due to an increase in funding during 2022–23.
  3. The 2022–23 actual for client satisfaction is an indicative result, as surveying is still underway. The result reported is based on approximately 50% of the total survey sample.
  4. The variance between the 2022–23 target/estimate and the 2022–23 actual is due to stronger than originally forecast employment growth in Queensland.
  5. The variance between the 2022–23 target/estimate and the 2022–23 actual is due to the nature of the 5-year rolling average and the omission of the higher than average number of serious electrical incidents in 2017–18.
  6. The variance between the 2022–23 target/estimate and the 2022–23 actual is due to the large number of matters finalised in the last quarter of the financial year.

Last updated 17 October 2023