Essays on Industrial Relations, Better Off Overall Test Assignment

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The paper "Industrial Relations, Better Off Overall Test" is a good example of a business assignment.   Industrial relations are about work interaction between employees and employers. There is a strong impression that industrial relations are sensational, collectivist and conflictual. This is a narrow and negative conception of the industrial relations which has been enforced by special interest groups. The problem with the sensational, collectivist and conflictual approach is that it leads to a false impression of industrial relations activities which engage employees, union officials and managers. In reality, there is a great contrast to this impression.

The reality is that most of the industrial relations include routines, actions and practices without the drama of strikes and confrontations which are rare. An action by a group of employees who seeks to promote or protect wages and their working conditions cannot be taken as a collective action by the whole group (Deery, Walsh & Waring, 2005). 4-List and briefly identify the membership base of four types of unions. (Lecture note 5) There are four types of unions which are classified according to the membership.

The unions are; craft/occupational, industry, company/ enterprise and general/ conglomerate unions. The craft or occupational union is formed by members who are in the same craft or occupation but working in different industries. The industry unionism is formed by the members working in the same industry but performing different works. For example workers in the textile industry or the public sector. Company or enterprise unions are formed by members from one company. There are restrictions to ensure only workers in a particular company are members. Lastly, the conglomerate unions are formed by allowing everyone to join regardless of their job or industry (Fairbrother, 2003). 6-What is the ‘ Better Off Overall Test' (BOOT)?

(Lecture note 9) This is a test which is based on the relevant modern award which takes care of all employees covered through the enterprise agreement. All enterprise agreements are required to pass the better off overall test (BOOT) for them to gain approval from fair work Australia. For the agreement to pass the BOOT test, fair work Australia has to be satisfied that each of the awards covered employees as well as the prospective award covered employees are better off under agreement based employment rather than under the relevant modern award.

The class of employees are examined by the fair work in Australia before applying the BOOT. Based on exceptional circumstances, fair work Australia may approve an agreement that fails to meet the BOOT. The approval of the agreement is carried out after ensuring that it is not contrary to public interests (Waterhouse & Colley, 2010). 7-Workplace relationships involve conflict— it is probably unavoidable. Discuss this statement with particular reference to the common forms and causes of workplace conflict.

(Lecture note 10) Workplace conflict occurs in every organisation and in some cases indicates a healthy exchange of ideas. Despite this, workplace conflict can lead to low productivity, poor services, absenteeism and high employees’ turnover. There are two main types of conflicts; functional and dysfunctional. Functional conflict is healthy and constructive while dysfunctional is a destructive form of disagreement. The causes of conflicts are categorized as structural and personal factors. Structural factors include; interdependence, goal differences, status inconsistencies, ambiguity in the jurisdiction, authority relationships and sharing of common resources.

Personal factors include skills and abilities, perception, communication barriers, values and ethics. In some cases, communication barriers leading to a conflict can be physical or value related (Calabrese, 2000).


Calabrese, K. R. (2000). Interpersonal conflict and sarcasm in the workplace. Genetic, social, and general psychology monographs, 126(4), 459.

Deery, S., Walsh, J., & Waring, P. (2005). Industrial relations: A contemporary approach. McGraw-Hill Australia.

Edwards, P. (2003). The employment relationship and the field of industrial relations. Industrial relations: theory and practice, 2, 1-36.

Fairbrother, P. (2003). Trade unions in renewal: A comparative study. Taylor & Francis US.

Griffin, G., & Svensen, S. (1996). The decline of Australian union density—A survey of the literature. Journal of Industrial Relations, 38(4), 505-547.

Metcalf, D. (2003). Unions and productivity, financial performance and investment: international evidence (pp. 118-171). Edward Elgar.

Waterhouse, J., & Colley, L. (2010). The work-life provisions of the Fair Work Act: a compromise of stakeholder preference. Australian Bulletin of Labour, 36(2), 154.

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