Assessing the Impact of Employment Legislation: The Coalition Government’s Labour Law Programme 1996-2007 and the Challenge of Research

79 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2010  

Christopher Jon Arup

Monash University

Anthony Forsyth

Monash University - Faculty of Business and Economics - Department of Business Law and Taxation

Peter G. Gahan

University of Melbourne - Department of Management and Marketing

Marco Michelotti

Monash University

Richard Mitchell

Monash University - Department of Business Law & Taxation

Carolyn Sutherland

Monash University - Department of Business Law & Taxation

David Taft

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: December 1, 2009

Abstract

Following 13 years of Labor government at the Federal level a Liberal/National Party Coalition government was elected to office in the Australian general election of 1996. This government was subsequently re-elected in 1998, 2001, and again in 2004, before finally losing power in the 2007 Federal election. Industrial relations and labour law policy were critical aspects of the Coalition’s political and social platform throughout its entire period of office and in pursuance of these policies the government introduced many significant changes to employment relations legislation. These were more than changes of detail, representing fundamental shifts in the distribution of power between the parties to employment relations, and in the means of determining terms and conditions of employment.

This report is designed to provide a summary and review of research published over the period 1997-2008 on the impact of the reforms to employment relations legislation which occurred during that period. The report is not a legal analysis per se, although the work does include some published studies carried out by labour lawyers. Rather, the main aim of the report is to assess what practical impact the Coalition’s legislative programme had upon various aspects of labour market and employment relations institutions, arrangements and behaviour; an assessment, then, not of why and how the law changed in a technical sense, but of the consequences and outcomes of legal change. The report also aims to say something about the nature of research in this area, and some of the disciplinary difficulties associated with it.

Suggested Citation

Arup, Christopher Jon and Forsyth, Anthony and Gahan, Peter G. and Michelotti, Marco and Mitchell, Richard and Sutherland, Carolyn and Taft, David, Assessing the Impact of Employment Legislation: The Coalition Government’s Labour Law Programme 1996-2007 and the Challenge of Research (December 1, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1544028 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1544028

Christopher Jon Arup

Monash University ( email )

Monash Business School
PO Box 197
Caulfield East, Victoria 3145
Australia
+61 3 9903 1026 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://monash.edu/research/people/profiles/profile.html?sid=11750&pid=4320

Anthony Forsyth

Monash University - Faculty of Business and Economics - Department of Business Law and Taxation ( email )

Wellington Road
Clayton, Victoria 3168
Australia

Peter G. Gahan (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Department of Management and Marketing ( email )

5th Floor Babel Building
Melbourne, Victoria 3010
Australia
+61390359740 (Phone)
+61393494293 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.managementmarketing.unimelb.edu.au/who/staff.cfm?StaffId=241

Marco Michelotti

Monash University ( email )

Wellington Road
Victoria, Roodepoort 3145
Australia

Richard James Mitchell

Monash University - Department of Business Law & Taxation ( email )

Caulfield Campus
Sir John Monash Drive
Caulfield East, Victoria 3084
Australia

Carolyn Sutherland

Monash University - Department of Business Law & Taxation ( email )

Caulfield Campus
Sir John Monash Drive
Caulfield East, Victoria 3084
Australia

David Taft

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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