Human Resources Law - Trace the Historical Tradition of Australian Labour Law Using Relevant Legislation and Case Law to Support Your Analysis. Do You Think the Current Direction of Labour Law in Australia Is Defensible?

Essay by summerainUniversity, Bachelor'sD, June 2010

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On 7th December, WorkChoices was passed by parliament. According to the Howard government, the WorkChoices reforms are all about creating 'freedom', 'choice' and 'flexibility' for Australian workers and their employers, balanced by a commitment to a 'fair and enforceable' set of minimum employment conditions.

There are some good grounds to see WorkChoices as merely an extension of the national industrial relations policies of the last generation and obviously as a way for the Howard government to overcome the compromises forced on it in the making of the Workplace Relations Act in 1996. And some proponents and opponents of these policies have argued that WorkChoices is not a fundamental shift. With Labour's record especially in the 1990s, say that the groundwork was laid then and that WorkChoices is the latest, and, in some senses, logical form of these developments. At times many of their backers appear to see WorkChoices as deficient and compromised: there should be no tribunals and specifically designed to regulate employment.�

On the other hand, bosses have wanted to bash unions for years. Let's trace back this kind of anti-unionism and anti-arbitration to the 1920s. We always took some comfort in the repeatedly story that the last conservative leader to try to trash arbitration, Stanley Melbourne Bruce, not only lost the 1929 election but also lost his own seat to a senior union official. The argument are not without merit, to say that WorkChoices aims for a fundamental shift in industrial relations is not to say that it lacks precedents or contexts. And importantly, if we look to other parts of Australasia, we can easily find legislative changes that were more far-reaching than the Workplace Relations Act and in this sense, too appear to be part of the path towards WorkChoices, especially the Employment Contracts Act, 1991...