The paper "The New Industrial Relations Law and the Elections" is a wonderful example of a Business Case Study. The employment relations reforms in Australia have been the focal point of political and economic discussions in the past two decades. It began as an enterprise bargaining by the government in the later years of the 1980s with the assistance of the trade union movements with the intention of decentralizing the labor relations in Australia (Harkness, 2008). More changes to the labor relations have been introduced by the Howard Coalition government in the middle of the 1990s in order to make it hard for labor involvement by making the issue of labor relationship a personal affair.
The responses from the workers to the changes in the labor sector are varying. Some of the workers have tried to come up with movements that are not union related to advance their courses while others have resorted to the use of a more cooperative way to the changes (Hawke and Wooden, 1998). This essay aims to discuss the rationale for workplace relations reform.
It goes ahead to establish the winners and losers of the changes as well as the reasons why are Australian voters reluctant to accept an individual workplace bargaining system. The rationale for workplace relations reform in Australia The labor party that was the ruling party from 1983 to 1986 sought to introduce change through an accord with the labor movements. In the accord, the labor unions consented to the moderation of demand for wages with an aim of reducing the level of inflation as the government of the day took an undertaking to introduce and affect a number of social as well as economic reforms.
The government also introduced a process of the labor sector changes with the help of the labor unions that involved the decentralization of the system of labor relations (Mitchell, et al. , 2010). During the 1990 periods, the government liberalized the labor market by allowing the non-union negotiations in the place of work. It is important to look at the relationship that exists between the changes in the labor market at the national level and that the workplace level.
This is very essential in Australia for instance since employment relations have highly been institutionalized from as early as the beginning of the 20th century and the labor movements have had an important role to play in the regulation of the employment market (Lansbury, 2000). The reforms in industrial relations have been the key agenda of the major parties in Australia over the past two decades. Both parties have stressed the need to have more flexible labor market reforms and workplace change although they have differed on the means of achieving this course.
The reforms sought to do away with the labor movements and put in place a system where individuals engage the employer on the issues pertaining to the workplace conditions without involving the labor movements with some sets standards to check it (Taylor, 2016). In 2004, the Howard regime sought to bring more reforms to the labor market by eliminating the influence of the labor movements. It also went ahead to liberalize the labor market by doing away with the safety nets that set a standard to the agreements (Stewart, 2015).
This, however, did not go well with the employees in Australia considering that the high unemployment rate in the country would mean that the desperate job seekers are likely to consent to any terms set by the employers in order to secure a job, making it easy for the employers to manipulate them (Stewart, 2015).
AIRC 2008, Historical overview Dec06. Retrieved from http://www.airc.gov.au/about/ourhistory/overview.pdf
O’Neill, S 2011, Industrial relations reforms: Boosting labour productivity?. Retrieved from http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/FlagPost/2011/September/Industrial_relations_reforms_boosting_labour_productivity
Harkness, P 2008, ‘Labor market “reform” in Australia: The new industrial relations law and the elections’, Monthly Review, Vol. 59, no. 8, p. 38-56.
Hawke, A. and Wooden, M. 1998, ‘Industrial relations reform in Australia: Implications for the agricultural and mining sectors’, The Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Vol. 42, No, 3, p. 303-319.
King, J and Stilwell, F 2006, The industrial relations ‘reforms’. Journal of Australian Political Economy, Issue No. 56. Retrieved from http://evatt.org.au/papers/industrial-relations-reforms.html
Lansbury, R.D. 2000, ‘Workplace change and employment relations reform in Australia: Prospects for a new social partnership?’. An Australian review of public affairs, 1(1), pp. 29–45.
Mitchell, R, Gahan, P, Stewart, A., Cooney, S and Marshall, S 2010, ‘The Evolution of Labour Law in Australia: Measuring the Change’, Australian Journal of Labour Law, Vol. 23, No. 1, 61-93.
Stewart, A 2015, ‘Labour regulation: Is there a case for Major Reform?. Retrieved from http://www.pc.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/187917/sub0118-workplace-relations.pdf
Stewart, A 2011, ‘The Relation Between Function and Form in the Main Federal Industrial Tribunals’, Journal of Industrial Relations, Vol. 1, No. 53, p. 596-615
Taylor, L 2016, ‘Senate voting reform stirs up hornet’s nest between likely winners and losers’, The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/feb/19/senate-voting-reform-stirs-up-hornets-nest-between-likely-winners-and-losers