The Coalition's Proposed Industrial Relations Changes: An Interim Assessment

19 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2007

See all articles by John Howe

John Howe

University of Melbourne Law School

Jill Murray

La Trobe Law School

Richard Mitchell

Monash University - Department of Business Law & Taxation

Anthony O'Donnell

La Trobe Law School

Glenn Patmore

University of Melbourne - Law School

Abstract

The Prime Minister's recent statement outlining the Coalition Government's plans for industrial relations heralds a period of profound change in Australian labour regulation. Proposed alterations to the institutional landscape for regulation of wages and other minimum standards, including a diminishing of the role of the AIRC and further promotion of enterprise bargaining, represent a major regulatory shift and are likely to have a significant impact on working conditions and trade unions. The exclusion of businesses with 100 employees or less from the federal unfair dismissal regime will mean that statutory regulation of termination of employment is substantially reduced. And the Prime Minister's plan for a national industrial relations system is the most radical restructuring of federal labour regulation in almost a century. The changes, however, do not represent a wholesale replacement of the collective system with institutionalised individualism. Among other things, key institutions of the conciliation and arbitration system will remain in place, although it will be some time before we can fully assess the nature and likely impact of the Government's policy.

Keywords: industrial relations, reform, coalition, labour, regulation, Australia, arbitration

JEL Classification: K31

Suggested Citation

Howe, John B and Murray, Jillian G. and Mitchell, Richard James and O'Donnell, Anthony and Patmore, Glenn, The Coalition's Proposed Industrial Relations Changes: An Interim Assessment. Australian Bulletin of Labour, Vol. 31, No. 3, pp. 189-209, 2005, U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 223, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=980862

John B Howe (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne Law School ( email )

Centre for Employment & Labour Relations Law
Parkville, Victoria, 3010
Australia
61 3 9344 8924 (Phone)
61 3 9349 4623 (Fax)

Jillian G. Murray

La Trobe Law School ( email )

La Trobe University
Bundoora, VIC 3083 3142
Australia

Richard James Mitchell

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

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

Anthony O'Donnell

La Trobe Law School ( email )

La Trobe University
Bundoora, VIC 3083 3142
Australia
03 9479 1256 (Phone)

Glenn Patmore

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia

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