At the Frontiers of Labour Law and Corporate Law: Enterprise Bargaining, Corporations and Employees

Federal Law Review, Vol. 23, p. 204, 1995

22 Pages Posted: 17 May 2006  

Jennifer G. Hill

University of Sydney - Faculty of Law; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)


Corporate law and labor law have traditionally been segregated fields, yet recent developments in corporate governance have brought these two areas of law closer together.

There has been an international trend toward decentralization of collective bargaining power in recent years. Mirroring this international trend, a major paradigm shift occurred in Australian labor law during the last decade, with the introduction of an enterprise bargaining regime in the mid-1990s and further major reforms in 2005. These reforms accord virtually no significance to the issue whether an employer is a corporation, continuing the historical segregation between labor law and corporate law.

This article attempts to bring these two legal fields into proximity, by arguing that the corporate status of employees is of vital significance. The article examines a range of ways under contemporary corporate governance principles in which employee interests might be protected from within the enterprise - either through the medium of fiduciary duties or through participating rights in the governing of the corporation itself.

Keywords: Corporate law, labor law, corporate governance, comparative corporate governance, shareholders, employees, enterprise bargaining, industrial democracy, workers, fiduciary duties, labor representation, labour law.

JEL Classification: D70, G30, G34, J38, J 44, K22, K 31, K 33, M14

Suggested Citation

Hill, Jennifer G., At the Frontiers of Labour Law and Corporate Law: Enterprise Bargaining, Corporations and Employees. Federal Law Review, Vol. 23, p. 204, 1995. Available at SSRN:

Jennifer G. Hill (Contact Author)

University of Sydney - Faculty of Law ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
+61 2 9351 0280 (Phone)
+61 2 9351 0200 (Fax)

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

B-1050 Brussels

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