Industrial relations

Essay by gumpgumpA+, May 2004

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Industrial Relations

Over the past decade, industrial relations in Australia have undergone considerable changes to reflect workplace reforms necessary to meet current and future global economic challenges.

Industrial relations involve the relationship between the employers, those who provide work and the employees, those who are paid to do the work as well employer associations and regulatory institutions.

As employers do not usually voluntarily increase and improve wages and working conditions for their employees, it has created the need to have organisations such as trade unions to negotiate on behalf of the workers. However, other organisations and the government also play a role in industrial relations. The role of the government is policy making (deciding what the rules will be), enforcement of conditions (making sure that they are followed) and the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission. This is an independent body that is responsible for checking and approving awards and agreements and dealing with disputes (

New Legislation within the Mining Industry

Within the last ten years, there have been many changes in industrial relations legislation that has affected the mining industry and the relationships in the workplace. Input from unions and employer associations have encouraged governments to make amendments to awards and employment agreements. Various awards and employment agreements establish employment conditions of mining employees.


Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995 (QLD)

Workplace Relations Act 1997 (QLD)

Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (QLD)

Industrial Relations Act 1999

Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995 (QLD)

Under this act, employers must ensure the health and safety of each of their workers, themselves and others. The employers and supervisors who are in control of the workplace are obliged to provide safe access to and from the workplace, and to minimise the risk of injury or disease from any plant or substance to any person whether...