WA local governments covered by State employment laws

  • Western Australian local government employers and employees covered by State employment laws from today (1 January)
  • McGowan Government delivers on commitment to remove existing legal uncertainty surrounding the employment arrangements of local governments

In a significant change for local government employers and employees, all Western Australian local governments today became covered by State employment laws. Prior to 1 January 2023, most local governments were covered by Commonwealth employment laws.

The move from Commonwealth to State employment laws was first flagged by the McGowan Government in 2018, following an independent review that identified significant legal doubt about whether local governments could validly operate under the Commonwealth laws.

Around 137 local governments, eight regional local governments and 23,000 employees are now covered by State employment laws. 

Western Australia joins Queensland, South Australia and New South Wales in regulating local governments under State-based employment laws.

As stated by Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston:

“Today the McGowan Government delivers on an important election commitment to ensure local governments are covered by State employment laws, not laws made in Canberra.

“WA’s employment laws were modernised in 2022 to strengthen protections for workers. Local government employers and employees now enjoy access to a strong, locally based independent umpire in the form of the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission.”

/Public Release. View in full here.