The paper "Employment Relations Are Important in any Workplace" is a great example of management coursework. Employment relations are described as the study of the relationship in the employment place. There are various laws and policies that enforce legal and allowable engagements between the employer and the employee. The laws may vary from country to country. There are two main approaches to employment relations namely pluralist and Unitarist theories. According to the Unitarist approach, the employees are supposed to be answerable or should show allegiance to only one body; the management. In this approach, any allegiance shown to any other institutions such as a trade union is seen as a breach of the employment relationship (Ross & Bamber 2009, p. 25).
On the other hand, a pluralist approach is one which acknowledged that an organization is made up of several groups whose interests may differ from those of the management. Due to this reason, an employee is allowed to be involved in the activities of the various groups as long as the activities are under the industrial law (Ross & Bamber 2009, p. 25).
The following essay will use the neo institutionalist approach to analyze the various aspects of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) is an employment relations act which was set up in 2009 to govern the workplace relations in Australia. The key issues which are covered by the act include laws on industrial actions, collective bargaining, resolution of disputes, net minimum wages and conditions of employment, termination of work engagement among other workplace-related issues (Fair Work Australia Commission 2009a, p.1). The Fair Work Act 2009 is enforced by the Fair Work Commission. Before the enactment of the Fair Work 2009, employment relations in Australia, there were several legal acts and policies which governed national workplace relations.
The earliest of them was the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Act 1904 (Fair Work Australia Commission 2009b, p.1). The institution which governed this act was the Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration. The main aspects of Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Act are the development of a minimum wage in 1907, the upholding of equal pay for men and women and also the indigenous people in the country in the periods between 1960 and 1970 and the establishment of various leaves, for instance, sick leave, maternity, paternity and annual leave in the period between 1960 and 1990 (Fair Work Australia Commission 2009b, p.1).
The Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Act of 1904 developed over years changing names which the change of regimes to the modern Fair Work Act 2009. Some of the acts which have been established through this century-long journey include the Fair Work Ombudsman, Australian Industrial Relations Systems and the Australian Registry Act (Office of the Commissioner for Public Employment 2012, p. 2).
Key to the developments of the acts is the need for a national employment relations legislation that would protect the employees and at the same time ensure that the employer’ s needs were taken into consideration. The Fair Work Act adopts a neo-institutionalist / pluralist, approach to employee relations. The act acknowledges that the workplace is comprised of several functional groups all of which are geared towards the attainment of efficiency at the workplace. The act is a development of Work Choices Legislation 2005 and was passed after the assumption of office by the Rudd government in 2007 (Barnes & Lafferty n. d., p.4).
Previously, the employment relations acts were based on a Unitarist approach whereby the employees were answerable to the employing authority. However, the focus has shifted from Unitarism to Pluralist approaches over the years of employment relations development (Ross & Bamber 2009, p. 25). The following section will analyse some of the key elements of the Fair Work Act 2009 from the new institutionalist approach.
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