Essays on Trends in Industrial Relations in Australia Case Study

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The paper 'Trends in Industrial Relations in Australia" is a perfect example of a business case study.   The purpose of this paper is to interrogate different media articles with the aim of gaining recent knowledge of the trends in industrial relations in Australia. The general overview from recent media articles opens the quest for more literature review about the subject in order to enlarge the understanding of the trend of the employment relationship in Australia. The basis of understanding the employment relationship in any economy is the regulative mechanisms that determine the nature of the associations, how parties relate and expend the relationship, and the progressive outcomes (Gould, 2010).

The Fair Work Act forms the cornerstone of employment relationship in Australia, and informs the parameters underpinning bargaining processes. The acts governing the industrial relations require special and purposeful monitoring and assessment in order to ensure that the prevailing law accommodates current and potential conflicts at workplace. Although there are various external parties in an employment relationship, the employer and employee are the primary stakeholders around whom the employment relationship revolves.

The moral values of fairness and obligations underline the balance in the relationship between the primary stakeholders. Industrial conflicts result from issues that distort the balance of power between the employer and the employee. The bargaining processes in an Australian context are crucial political and legislative features with changes precipitating with change in political governance. The underlined important features of employment relationship are synthesized through the six media articles that reflect the varying views and contextual circumstances. Employment Relations Regulation The article, “ Fair Work Australia to audit WA employers using enterprise agreements” characterises the nature of strategies required for the state regulations over employment relations to be achieved in a standardized industrial approach (ABC News, 2013).

The theme of the article is to drive a state campaign that not only requires the businesses in Western Australia to adhere to the regulated rates of pay but also maintain appropriate employment documents. State arms pursue the audit campaigns to ensure that areas with higher than average number of enterprise agreements do not violate the regulated rights of employees. As described by the ABC News (2013), employment relations revolve around workplace agreements that stipulate the nature of the relationship between employers and employees, especially how the relationship is regulated, experienced, or contested.

It is imperative from the aforementioned article that all employment relationships require to be regulated to ensure that state rules regarding pay rates, hours of work, holiday entitlement and the condition of the working environment are enforced. It is increasingly industrial practices that in many instances employers negotiate employment relations matters with trade unions, workers’ protection organizations, and related groups that concern themselves with improving the welfare and pay of staff (Oliver, 2010).

The article in this context reflects the spirit of collective bargain in which the employee protection group is seeking to enforce terms of employment relationship jointly with the employers. The employment relations subject is such an important social-political and economic theme in Australia that the electorate is often keen to assess the government’ s industrial relations policy before electing it. The article, “ The major parties’ industrial relations policies” by Capelin (2013) gives a reflective context of the value of industrial relations policy to any governing authority in Australia.

Despite the ideological divide between the potential governing parties in Australia, there are common regulations areas that the government arms seem to concur as regards employment relations.


Bray, M., & Underhill, E. (2009). Industry differences in the neoboliberal transformation of Australian industrial relations. Industrial Relations Journal, 40(5), 372-392.

Capelin, T. (2013, Sept. 27). The major parties’ industrial relations policies. Workplace Insight. Retrieved from

Fair Work Australia to audit WA employers using enterprise agreements. (2013, Sept. 13). ABC News. Retrieved from

Fair Work Commission. (2013a, Mar. 19). Bargaining & workplace determinants. Retrieved from

Fair Work Commission. (2013b, Sep.6). Australian workplace relations study. Retrieved from

Fair Work Ombudsman. (2013, Sep. 24). Enterprise bargaining fact sheet. Retrieved from

Gollan, P. (2013, Jul. 30). How fair work has increased industrial conflict. Smart Company. Retrieved from

Gould, A.M. (2010). The Americanization of Australian workplaces. Labour History, 51(3), 363-388.

Oliver, D. (2010). Union membership among young graduate workers in Australia: Using the experience good model to explain the role of student employment. Industrial Relations Journal, 41(5), 505-519.

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