Outline the changes in the Australian labour market since 1980.

Essay by hmc107University, Bachelor'sB-, November 2003

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Outline the changes in the Australian labour market since 1980. What impact do you consider that these changes have had on the industrial relations system in Australia?

Industrial relations can be defined as the government regulated interaction between employers and their representatives with employees and their representatives in pursuit of their respective objectives. It interacts between management and the employees. There are a variety of factors determining the objectives set by the parties in industrial relations and their ability to achieve these objectives. Between employees and employers will be determined which the events and issues that develop. As social norms and historical, political, legal, economic and technological factors in a society change, these changes will be reflected in its industrial relations system. For example, the increase in the number of married women in the workforce has led to pressure for actual equal pay and demands for more flexible working hours.

Many of these factors are inter-related.

Other important preliminary is observation about the employment relationship in Australia. The public impression that industrial relations are dominated by the highly bureaucratic and allegedly inflexible Award system. It could be clear that the employment relationship can take a wide variety of forms. Employees are not necessarily rewarded with Award conditions nor is there any uniformity in the contractual basis of employment. While some work to a formal legal contract that specifies the duties and obligations of both parties, others work according to terms which arise from nothing more than a verbal agreement and a handshake.

Trade unions are associations of workers that have joined together to protect and better their wages, hours of work, and conditions of employment. Unions are based on the idea that a group of workers will be stronger than individuals working by themselves to further their interests in the...