Industrial relations


​​Fair and safe workplaces and communities

We foster a culture of fairness, safety and innovation in every Queensland workplace and community to promote economic prosperity, sustainability and social justice for a stronger Queensland.

We are committed to protecting the rights of workers and continue to work with industry to assist businesses to create a safe and healthy culture in Queensland places of work.

Claim farming ban and compensation for workers with terminal conditions

The passage of the Personal Injuries Proceedings and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 (Qld) makes the Queensland workers’ compensation scheme the first in Australia to specifically legislate against claim-farming activities.

Claim-farming involves third parties cold calling or approaching members of the public to engage lawyers to make compensation claims for their own financial benefit.

The Workers’ Compensation Regulator has expanded compliance and enforcement powers to effectively prosecute claim farming offences. These are consistent across schemes, ensuring there are no weak points to be exploited by claim farmers.

The Bill also ensures workers with a work-related terminal condition can access terminal compensation when they most need it. Queensland is the only jurisdiction in Australia to offer broad ranging statutory terminal compensation of this nature.

Five-year review of Queensland’s Industrial Relations Act 2016 (Qld)

In 2021–22, the Five-year Review of ​Queensland’s Industrial Relations Act 2016 – Final Report (PDF, 562KB) and the Queensland Government’s Response (PDF, 221KB) was released.

The independent review aimed to ensure Queensland's industrial relations jurisdictions, comprising mainly state and local government sectors, continue to be fair and balanced. Areas reviewed included:

  • workplace sexual harassment protections
  • gender pay equity, casual and insecure work including setting minimum entitlements and conditions for independent courier drivers
  • minimum employment standards
  • effective representation of workers by unions and the collective bargaining framework.

The Final Report made 40 recommendations including amendments to the Industrial Relations Act 2016 (Qld) to better reflect evolving community standards for the workplace. The Queensland Government accepted all the recommendations; with 36 in full and 4 accepted in principle.​​

Electrical Safety Regional and Remote Projects

The Electrical Safety Regional and Remote projects are a direct result of research commissioned by the Electrical Safety Office (ESO) and undertaken by the Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety – Queensland (CARRS–​​​Q). The research identified 6 local government areas that have the highest electrical injury rates per 100,000 population: Gladstone, Isaac, Mount Isa, Cloncurry, Hinchinbrook and Carpentaria. Key focus areas in these regions are contact with overhead lines, working near energised equipment, safety switches, unlicensed work, asbestos in switchboards and electrical equipment risks.

In 2021–22, the ESO delivered a targeted program in Mount Isa, Cloncurry and Hinchinbrook to 490 local industry, community, workers, contractors and apprentices. Inspectors also engaged with other industry and community organisations to evaluate the level of understanding and knowledge of electrical safety across regional and remote Queensland. This will inform future engagement to improve electrical safety outcomes for all Queenslanders.

Health and safety representative portal

Health and Safety Representatives (HSR) give a voice to workers in health and safety matters at the workplace and involve workers through participation and consultation.

In October 2021, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) launched the Health and Safety representative portal to make it easier for People Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) to notify the regulator of their HSRs and deputies.

The portal makes it easier for a PCBU to enter details of their elected HSR or deputy HSR and maintain current records and details of their elected HSR and deputy HSR.

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 Relations2021–22 target/estimate2021–22 actual
Service standards

Effectiveness measure

Overall client satisfaction with inspectorate's effectiveness and professionalism
90% 92%
Overall client satisfaction with the services and advice provided on public sector industrial relations 90% 96%

Efficiency measures

Cost of Industrial Relations services per Queensland worker 1
$3.22 $2.99
Cost of public sector industrial and employee relations per Queensland public sector worker 1 $6.70 $6.15
Service: Work health and safety services
Service standards

Effectiveness measure

Overall client satisfaction with inspectorate's effectiveness and professionalism
90% 91%

Efficiency measure

Cost of WHSQ services per Queensland worker 6
$36.34 $30.56
Service: Electrical safety services 2021–22 target/estimate 2021–22 actual
Service standards

Effectiveness measure

Reduction in the number of reported serious electrical incidents over the year on a 5-year rolling average 2
5% 0.8%
Overall client satisfaction with inspectorate's effectiveness and professionalism 890% -

Efficiency measure​

​Cost of electrical safety services per person in Queensland 4
$4.38 $4.49
Service: Administration of the Industrial Court and Commission system
Service standards

Effectiveness measures

Clearance rate of pending caseload 5
90% 80%

Efficiency measure

Average cost of finalisation of a case in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission and Industrial Court of Queensland 6
$4,200 $3,289
Service: Workers' compensation services
Service standards

Effectiveness measures

Workers' compensation di​sputation rate
3.1% 2.8%

Efficiency measure​

Cost of Workers’ compensation Regulator service per Queensland worker
$20.43 $19.57


  1. The variance between the 2021–22 target/estimate and the 2021–22 actual is due to stronger than originally forecast employment growth.
  2. The difference between the target/estimate and the actual is change in the five-year rolling average of the number of verified serious electrical incidents (SEIs) reported. SEIs are trending down overall, however the five-year rolling average can spike in one year when a higher than usual number of SEIs are recorded. The Electrical Safety Office continues to educate and enforce compliance of electrical safety within industry and community with a long-term objective to reduce SEIs in Queensland.
  3. The 2021–22 actual for overall client satisfaction with inspectorate's effectiveness and professionalism cannot be presented. The survey had a very low response rate following the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the result would not be representative of the Queensland population.
  4. The variance between the 2021–22 target/estimate and 2021–22 actual is due to lower than originally estimated resident population and higher than originally estimated Electrical Safety Office funding. The increase between the 2021–22 target/estimate and the 2022–23 target/estimate is due to increased funding for 2022–23.
  5. The variance between the 2021–22 target/estimate and the 2021–22 actual is due to the large increase in the number of matters filed.
  6. The variance between the 2021–22 target/estimate and the 2021–22 actual is due to the increase in the number of matters finalised during 2021–22.

Last updated 01 November 2022