Transporting the European Social Partnership Model to Australia
Journal of Industrial Relations, Vol. 48, 2006
Posted: 23 Nov 2006 Last revised: 29 Nov 2010
There has been a long tradition of debate over workplace democracy in Australia. Yet, workplace democracy remains one of the great unfulfilled promises of Australian labour law.
While the current focus on enterprise bargaining in the workplace might encourage us to think about new information and consultation mechanisms at work, there are no legislative provisions imminent. We argue that the voluntary approach of recent Australian governments has failed to create a generally available right to information and consultation at work. In this article we therefore consider how information and consultation procedures could be introduced into Australia, drawing upon the European social partnership model and the Australian experience with employee consultation mechanisms. In particular, the article assesses employee consultation procedures in light of good workplace relations practices. The article examines how the Workplace Relations Act 1996 (Cth) could be amended to incorporate a new model, and assesses its likely effectiveness in the current Australian industrial relations context.
Keywords: enterprise bargaining, workplace, consultation, labour law, workplace relations act 1996
JEL Classification: K31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation