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Work and Employment Relations

An Era of Change


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AUD $59.95 gst included

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
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


This excellent short book preforms two valuable functions. In the first place, it provides a fitting tribute to the academic career of Russell Lansbury. … The other contribution of the book consists of its remaining 15 essays, reviewing cotemporary developments in Australian industrial relations…

This book attests to the vibrancy and good health of Australian Industrial Relations scholarship.

Journal of Industrial Relations, January 2013

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