The Federation Press

Work and Employment Relations

An Era of Change


With significant regulatory, social and economic change occurring in Australia and in other countries, a new agenda for employment relations is needed. Many features of work and employment relations have undergone significant changes over the past two decades. These changes have taken place in the context of lowered trade barriers, intense global competition and deregulation of financial markets. The scholarly essays in this book deal with many of the employment relations issues arising from these developments and consider the policy implications arising from them. The essays cover:

The provision of legislated standards in determining the ‘safety net’ in Australia
Characteristics of the ‘modern awards’
The role of unions in the new collective bargaining regime
New roles for employers in industrial relations
The advent of paid parental leave and employer responses
The demand and supply sides of skill formation in Australian workplaces
The prospects of ‘high performance’ work systems in Australia
Equal remuneration and undervaluation of women’s work
Paradoxes in productivity issues
Questioning the ‘exceptionalist’ view of Australian industrial relations
Worker voice
Making minimum wages effective — the UK experience
Lessons of work and employment policy in the US
‘Flexicurity’ lessons for the EU and Australia

Table of Contents

Tribute to Professor Russell Lansbury
Joe Issac

Introduction to Employment Relations: A New Agenda
Marian Baird, Keith Hancock and Joe Isaac

Legislated Standards: The Australian Approach
Ron McCallum

The Distinctiveness of Modern Awards
Mark Bray

Trade Unions and Collective Bargaining

Rae Cooper and Braddon Ellem

Employers in Australia in 2011: New Roles and Relations in the Workplace?
Patricia Todd Paid

Parental Leave Policy and Employer Response
Marian Baird

Skills and Skill Formation in Australian Workplaces, Beyond the War for Talent?
Richard Hall

New Work Practices, Participation and Organisational Performance: Prospects for High Performance Work Systems in Australia
Bill Harley

Approaches to Gender-Based Undervaluation in Australian Industrial Tribunals: Lessons from Recent Childcare Cases
Gillian Whitehouse and Tricia Rooney

Productivity and Labour: Four Paradoxes and their Implications for Policy
John Buchanan

Still the Exception? Australian Employment Relations in Comparative Perspective
Nick Wailes

Giving Employees a Voice in the Workplace: A Comparative Historical Perspective
Greg Patmore

How Do We Make Minimum Wages Effective?
William Brown

Work and Employment Policy and Practice: Lessons from a Failed State
Tom Kochan

The ‘Rise and Stumble’ of Flexicurity: Lessons for the European Union and Australia
Peter Auer


Of interest...