Essays on Employment Relationship and Employer Representation Case Study

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  The paper "Employment Relationship and Employer Representation" is a perfect example of a Management Case Study. Industrial relations refer to the state-regulated interaction between representatives of employers and employees in pursuit of respective objectives. There are mainly three parties involved in Industrial relations which include; employers/management, employees/labor unions, and the Government. Each of these has a big role to play and they work hand in hand to facilitate better industrial relations in society (Dunlop 2001). The employers and employees have various objectives that they need to fulfill to ensure harmony and fairness in industrial relations.

The employers/management objective is to provide organizational growth for maximum profitability for the firm. Their objective is also to improve the efficiency in work and encourage invention and innovation to increase productivity and investment (Riley 2008). Finally, their overall objective is to achieve national and international competitiveness in the field. The employees/trade unions to have objectives of their own which are slightly different from their employers. They ensure improved working conditions and maintenance of decent wages and salaries for employees. More so they guarantee job security for their members and insist on being part of the decision-making process of organizations.

Finally, they advocate for training opportunities and career progression for the employees (Kelly 2003). These objectives are vital for all industry stakeholders and thus legislation has to be put in place to handle the industrial relations for the benefit of everybody. The Employment Relationship. The employment relationship is the basis of industrial relations. The employers are responsible for the purchase of labor powers of the employees along with the potential intellectual and physical power. The management converts this potential into effective work for the purpose of increased revenue from the sales of the end products they produce (Kelly 2002).

The employment relationship is normally affected when there is a dispute over where the boundary of control should be between the employers and employees. In such situations the government steps in to become the arbitrator, this is done through legislation that is used to accommodate the differences and similarities between unions and employers (Cieri 2007). Before the 1980’ s government had a presence in industrial relations but it was later left to the institutional parties as governed in the Australian constitution. According to Alexander (2008, p. 65), several past governments have come up with legislation aimed at improving industrial relations, such legislation includes the 1980’ s legislation by the ALP and Liberal governments which encouraged a shift to enterprise-based bargaining from centralized wage system.

But further legislation was made by the John Howard government encouraged more individual agreements between employers and employees, this move derailed the involvement of unions and arbitration tribunals in the labor movement (Janice 2002). By 2008 with the increase in individualism in employment relations, the ALP government which had taken power saw the need to increase importance of unions, tribunals, and awards under the Fair Work Act 2009.

The above legislations have shifted the relations of employers, employees and the government in controlling industrial relations. With the increased threat from individual agreements, labor unions have reformed to accommodate changes in relations with employees with the introduction of more unions that cater to specific industries.


Alexander, R, Lewre, J & Gahan, P 2008, Understanding Australian Industrial Relations, 7th edn, Thomson, Melbourne.

Cieri, HD 2007, Human resource management in Australia: strategy, people, performance, McGraw-Hill Australia, Melbourne.

Dunlop, J T 2001, Industrial Relations Systems, Henry Holt, Canberra.

Janice, CY 2002, Initial and Long-Run Performance of Mining IPOs in Australia, Australian Journal of Management, Canberra.

Kelly, D 2003, Researching industrial relations, Federation Press, Canberra.

Kelly, JE 2002, Industrial relations: critical perspectives on business and management, Routledge, Thousand Oaks.

Riley, J & Sheldon, P 2008, Remaking Australian Industrial Relations CCH Australia Limited, Sydney.

Wooden, M 2002, The transformation of Australian industrial relations, Federation Press, Routledge, Thousand Oaks.

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