Industrial Relations Term Paper

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Industrial Relations

The purpose of this work is to document in chronological order the major events in Australia industrial relations and both Federal and State form 1980 to the present. Each event will be described and the objective stated. Each will be analyzed as to the impact on the construction industry.

The collective and/or enterprise agreement that may be advantageous to both workers and management in large construction companies will be discussed as well as any disadvantages noted in this area. Secondly the object of the Act will be summarized and the options and limitation under the act if not satisfied with the payment schedule received in response to payment will be discussed as well as detailing how the Act may benefit every sub-contractor.


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The Australian Industrial Relations principles contained in the national code state that "It is agreed by Australian government that the industrial relations principles embodied in this Code are to apply to their construction policies. Stated also is the requirement for all parties compliance in line with provisions of applicable "awards and workplace arrangements which have been certified, registered or otherwise approved under the relevant industrial relations legislation; and legislative requirements. Important elements in achievement as well as "continuous improvement and best practice." (, 2005) Workplace arrangements are a matter that parties generally leave to the arrangements and subject to meeting specific requirements and may involve improvement in OHS and rehabilitation practices; training and skill formation strategies; multi-skilling and flexibility in work practices. These are only a few of the rules that are contained in the Industrial Relations principles of the National Code. (, 2005)I.

Part I

Industrial Relations 1980s to present both federal and state

Term Paper on Industrial Relations Assignment

Since the year of 1980 there has been no government which has had a senate majority which is the upper house of the Australian Parliamentary Division. Throughout the last century the practice of setting wage rates has been the primary functioning capacity of the industrial relations tribunals in Australia. Stated in the work entitled, "Justice at Work: Industrial Citizenship and the Corporation of Australian Labor Law" (McCallum, 2005) is that the entire twentieth century was one inclusive of regular practice of "compulsory conciliation and arbitration was so successful in distributing productivity gains right across Australia through arbitrated general increases in wage rates that it remained the corner stone of Australian labor relations policy up until 1992." (McCallum, 2005)

In no other industrialised and market economy labour law system of which I am aware, is the approval of an industrial relations body required before a collective agreement between a trade union an employer may come into operation. Wage rate specification undergirded by the receipt of awards by the network of industrial relations commission in Australia. In the years of 1993 and 1996 there were changes to federal labor law in regards to the status of a safety net, and in 1997 it was made perfectly clear by the Australian Industrial Relations Commission that "it would continue to prescribe minimum wage rates for all of the employees who were covered by federal awards."

B. Two events decidedly "most important" to construction industry.

Two factors that are very important to the construction industry are: (1) the government's workplace relations policy which is focused toward encouraging independent contract. Secondly, (2) the Independent's Contractors Bill will be introduced sometime in 2005 which would prevent unions in attempting to obtain orders from the Australian Industrial Relations Commission in binding rope contractors in the workplace by declaring them to be "employees" and most specifically in the projects that are the larger commercial building project construction. Stated is that, "The Australian Government's workplace relations policy aims to encourage independent contracting, which in the building industry is the overwhelming method of employment amongst sub-contractors. To protect freedom to contract, an Independent Contractors Bill will be introduced in 2005. (Utz, 2005)

Part Two

1. Collective and enterprise agreement advantageous aspects.

The advantages in collective and enterprise agreements are clearly the fact that this type of negotiation involves the issues and agendas of all with no one being left out or providing their individual input. The following disadvantage is stated (McCallum, 2005): "This culture of collective decision making does not easily co-exist with the maintenance of professional standards and responsibility," the Minister laments. (NSW Department of Industrial Relations, 2005)

2. Research the Security of Payments Act NSW, 1999.

In the making of an effort of promotion on increased security an effort of seeking the promotion of increased security in relation to payments to the construction industry contractors, subcontractors, consultant and suppliers. This is only a small part of the role of Government in support and promotion of behavior that is ethical within the industry with the key change. (Rights and Responsibilities 2005) Standard reflective clauses are stated as, "These clauses are being used in contracts for government-related work, whereby payment periods and other clauses in the contract with the client are reflected in all sub-contracts for work on the project." NSW Department of Industrial Relations (2005)

A. Discussion of the objective of the Act and - Summary of options and limitations under the act when not satisfied with the payments plan.

Any disputes or disagreements relating to workplace relations or OHS&R matters, which can impact on the construction program or the contract, project costs or other related contracts, must be reported to the principal at the earliest opportunity. If the contractor believes the statement is false then that contractor may withhold payment. he industrial relations tribunal networks in Australia are under a requirement for certification of collective agreement between the trade unions and employers, or employers and workers thus making a collective agreement enforceable legally. The Australian Industrial Relations Commission is under strict requirement in relation to the collective agreement establish that the agreement does not impermissibly under the relevant award safety net covering the employees of the undertaking. (Pittard, 1997 as cited by McCallum, 2005) in relation to decisions on over award payments, including super annuation, redundancy and workers' compensation insurance shall be made by the individual employer to suit the needs of the enterprise. No employer may be compelled to pay benefits above that prescribed in the relevant worker's compensation legislation.

The National Code of Australia Industrial Relations has been "endorsed and adopted by the Australian Government and state and territory governments through the procurement and Consortium minister's Council and the Workplace Relations Ministers' Council "Procurement and construction Council. Further, the code is primarily based on "enterprise-level determination of pay and conditions but the code does indeed recognize that there are some situations in which project agreements may be appropriate but only under strict conditions one of which is the agreement of the principals or the client. The provisions in regards to legislative action is one that "provides a fair balance between the rights of employers, employees, representative organizations and the general community....consistent with accepted principles of collective bargaining industrial action is permitted under the federal workplace relations legislation in relation to bargaining for a CA or an AWA. Industrial action other than genuine bargaining for agreements is not compatible with the system and is not lawful. In relation to decisions on overaward payments, including super annuation, redundancy and workers' compensation insurance shall be made by the individual employer to suit the needs of the enterprise. No employer may be compelled to pay benefits above that prescribed in the relevant worker's compensation legislation

B. Detail how the Act Can Benefit Every sub-contractor.

Claims for unpaid debts to sub-contractors, suppliers and workers can now be made through the local courts under the new Contractors Debts Act, 1997. This allows access to a low cost dispute resolution mechanism. Importantly, sub-contractors, workers or suppliers can use the Act to claim money from the principal who employed the defaulting contractor. Importantly, sub-contractors, workers… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Industrial Relations" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Industrial Relations.  (2005, May 9).  Retrieved January 27, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Industrial Relations."  9 May 2005.  Web.  27 January 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Industrial Relations."  May 9, 2005.  Accessed January 27, 2021.