Fair Work Bargaining for Police: A Proposal for Reform

Australian Business Law Review Volume 48 No 3, 2020

19 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2023 Last revised: 14 Nov 2023

See all articles by Giuseppe Carabetta

Giuseppe Carabetta

University of Technology, Sydney (UTS); The University of Sydney

Date Written: March 30, 2019


This article proposes an alternative model for the regulation of police collective bargaining disputes under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). Its central recommendation is that a North American-style mandatory interest arbitration model should be applied to police officers and other emergency services employees operating under the Fair Work Act 2009 or analogous market-based bargaining regimes. Specifically, a mediation-arbitration model of interest arbitration – combined with “active” mediation and a tripartite arbitration panel design – is proposed, together with a number of related measures aimed at encouraging bargaining, such as, negotiation timelines. It is argued that as well as providing a guaranteed closure mechanism for police collective bargaining disputes, the proposed model would give neutrals a better understanding of the underlying needs of the parties in a law-enforcement context; and simultaneously encourage negotiated or at least mediated outcomes for police officers.

Keywords: Labour Law; Collective bargaining; Dispute Resolution; Regulation of Collective Bargaining Disputes; Arbitration models; Mediation-Arbitration; Final-offer arbitration; Tripartite Panels; Fair Work Bargaining; Police; Emergency and Essential Services

JEL Classification: K31

Suggested Citation

Carabetta, Giuseppe, Fair Work Bargaining for Police: A Proposal for Reform (March 30, 2019). Australian Business Law Review Volume 48 No 3, 2020 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3760798 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3760798

Giuseppe Carabetta (Contact Author)

University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) ( email )

15 Broadway, Ultimo
PO Box 123
Sydney, NSW 2007

The University of Sydney ( email )

University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006

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