This collection draws together contributions from leading Australian and international labour law scholars, based on papers delivered at a conference to mark the 21st birthday of the Centre for Employment and Labour Relations Law at the University of Melbourne. Collectively, the contributions provide an account and exploration of labour law scholarship’s evolution over the last two decades, and its future trajectory. They explore a number of enduring and emerging themes in labour law, including:
- The Foundations of Labour Law Scholarship
- From Labour Law to Labour Market Regulation
- Labour Law, Equality and Human Rights
- Effectiveness and Enforcement in Labour Law
- Sidestepping the Law Through Legal Structures
- International and Comparative Labour Law Perspectives
- The Future of Work and Labour Law
The book offers conclusions about the progress that labour law scholarship has made in facing fundamental changes in the organisation of capital, work and labour markets, as well as suggesting ideas for how labour law might continue to evolve to meet new challenges.
About the Contributors
Table of Cases
Table of Statutes
The Evolving Project of Labour Law in Australia
John Howe, Anna Chapman and Ingrid Landau
The Evolution of the Idea of a Labour Law Subject in Australian Legal Scholarship
PART ONE: FROM LABOUR LAW TO LABOUR MARKET REGULATION
Updating the Labour Market Regulation Perspective on Labour Law
When Was ‘Labour Law’?
A Different World: The Regulatory Project in Labour law
PART TWO: LABOUR LAW, EQUALITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS
Evaluating the Adverse Action Provisions of the Fair Work Act: Equality Thwarted?
Beth Gaze, Anna Chapman and Adriana Orifici
At the Intersection of Education and Work: Young People, Equality and Regulation of the Labour Market
Anne Hewitt, Rosemary Owens, Andrew Stewart and Joanna Howe
Normative Visions of Age: Progress and Change in Australian Labour Law
PART THREE: EFFECTIVENESS AND ENFORCEMENT IN LABOUR LAW
Regulating Health and Safety in ‘Vertically Disintegrated’ Work Arrangements: The Example of Supply Chains
Watch This Space: Mapping the Actors Involved in the Implementation of Labour Standards Regulation in Australia
Researching Labour Law ‘In Practice’: Challenges in Assessing the Impact of Protected Industrial Action Ballot Procedures on Enterprise Bargaining Processes
Catrina Denvir and Shae McCrystal
PART FOUR: SIDESTEPPING THE LAW THROUGH LEGAL STRUCTURES
Sidestepping Labour Law Through the Corporate Form
‘Predatory Princes’, ‘Migration Merchants’ or ‘Agents of Development’? An Examination of the Legal Regulation of Labour Hire Migration Intermediaries
Agency Work and its Regulatory Challenges: Lessons Learnt Through a Comparative Overview of Australian and Italian Approaches
Maria Azzurra Tranfaglia
PART FIVE: INTERNATIONAL AND COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVES
Understanding Australian Labour Law Discourse as International
Using a Historical Institutionalist Approach to Assess the Cambodian Better Factories Project
Trade Agreements and Australian Labour Law – Implications of the Death of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
Joo-Cheong Tham and KD Ewing
Game Changer? Human Rights Due Diligence and Corporate Respect for Workers’ Rights in a Global Economy
PART SIX: THE FUTURE OF WORK AND LABOUR LAW
Technology, the Digital Economy and the Challenge for Labour Market Regulation
Peter Gahan, Joshua Healy and Daniel Nicholson
Labour law is currently discussed too narrowly by legal scholars; for example, it is generally blind to human resources policies which are an alternative forum option for many workers. The authors accept the need to move away from legal positivism and start discussing labour law not as if it exists in a vacuum but as something embedded in social reality. …
This is not the first time that potential for collaboration between law and sociology has been noted; Associate Professor Andrew Frazer called for it in this journal some years ago (Frazer 2009). In this book, the call is coming the other way. The message from these legal scholars to sociological scholars is: We need your help to move labour law scholarship away from theoretical discussion and to examine concretely how law can create more just outcomes for Australian workers.
Michael Walker, Labour and Industry, August 2018
This collection of essays about
the development of labour law’s scholarship in Australia is a timely reminder that labour law and its scholarship are constantly changing and adapting to the labour market. At present, Australia’s labour regulation is undergoing an acute period of change.
The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)
(the FW Act) just saw one of the
most substantial amendments to its sections since its introduction in 2010 – the Fair Work (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Act 2017
(Cth). There are increasing calls for
a complete overhaul of the FW Act, including by a past Vice-President of the Fair Work Commission, Graeme Watson. On 11 October 2017 the Federal Court of Australia upheld the Fair Work Commission’s decision to reduce penalty rates as of 1 July 2017.
Richard Johnstone’s chapter on vertical disintegration of labour supply is a topical read following the recent introduction of franchisor and holding company liability for franchisee and subsidiary’s breaches of the FW Act. Joanna Howe’s chapter on migration intermediaries, or agents who charge for a migration outcome, is opportune given the Senate Education and Employment References Committee Report “A National Disgrace”, 7-Eleven, Baiada and Harvester Inquiries conducted by the Fair Work Ombudsman in recent times.
The Evolving Project of Labour Law neatly summarises the next “big” issues in labour market regulation. The essays are short, easily digestible and do not require a prior understanding of employment law. For those practitioners seeking to learn more about contemporary issues in labour law, this text should not be overlooked.
Kirsty Easdale, Ethos, ACT Law Society, December 2017