Vol. 31 No. 2 2005
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ItemThe Role and Usage of Conciliation and Mediation in Dispute Resolution in the Australian Industrial Relations Commission(National Institute of Labour Studies, 2005)"The Workplace Relations Act 1996 severely curtailed the traditionally strong arbitral powers of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission, rather, a key thrust of the legislation was the make unions and employers primarily responsible for resolving industrial disputes. Despite this legislative change, the two main parties continue to seek the assistance of the AIRC in resolving industrial disputes. This paper investigates the processes and practices used by the AIRC in managing these dispute notifications, particularly the relative roles of conciliation and mediation. It argues that, overall, the AIRC continues to play a significant interventionist role and that this level of intervention is strongly supported by practitioners, indeed, many employers support a more interventionist role. The actual forms of intervention utilised vary but practitioners are not concerned about the process, focusing, rather, on the outcome, a resolution of the dispute."
ItemA Potential Dividend from Workforce Ageing in Australia(National Institute of Labour Studies, 2005)"This study explores by simulation analysis the extent of a potential dividend from workforce ageing in Australia. The analysis suggests that the optimum workforce is older than the actual workforce today. Hence, workforce ageing implies that the actual age distribution of the workforce can be expected to shift closer to the optimum age distribution, generating a dividend in terms of aggregate labour productivity. Simulations suggest that the dividend is likely to be non-trivial in magnitude, although the size of the effect depends very much on the values of elasticities of substitution about which little is known. Nevertheless, plausible scenarios can be constructed in which the dividend is sufficient to offset significantly the costs of projected declines in the worker to population ratio."
ItemA New Province for Law and Order Assessing One Hundred Years of Industrial Arbitration in Australia(National Institute of Labour Studies, 2005)N/A
ItemComing Soon to a Workplace Near You – the New Industrial Relations Revolution(National Institute of Labour Studies, 2005)"This article explains and examines the content and likely effects of the industrial relations legislative package announced by the Prime Minister in May 2005. After placing the package in historical context, including the low take up of registered individual contracts, it focuses on the abolition of the ‘no disadvantage’ test, changes to minimum wage fixation arrangements, the removal of unfair dismissal protection for many employees, other amendments to the safety net, changes to freedom of association and the right to bargain collectively, the unilateral move to a national system of industrial relations, the politics of reform, and interpretation of the Prime Minister's closing statement that ‘the era of the select few making decisions for the many in Australian industrial relations is over’."