Work and Employment Relations: An Era of Change (Paperback) book cover

Work and Employment Relations

An Era of Change

Edited by Marian Baird, Keith Hancock, Joe Isaac

© 2013 – Federation Press

350 pages

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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

Table of Contents


Marian Baird, Keith Hancock and Joe Isaac

Tribute to Professor Russell Lansbury

Joe Isaac

Legislated Standards: The Australian Approach

Ron McCallum

The Distinctiveness of Modern Awards

Mark Bray

Unions and Collective Bargaining

Rae Cooper and Braddon Ellem

Employers in Australia: 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

Beyond ‘Comparable Worth’? Australian Approaches to Valuing Care

Gillian Whitehouse and Patricia 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


About the Editors

Marian Baird is Director of the Women and Work Research Group and Professor of Employment Relations in the University of Sydney Business School. She is the first female professor to hold this position and is an expert on women and their work and family lives.

Marian has advised government, business and unions on maternity leave policies and is also co-editor of The Journal of Industrial Relations.

Keith Hancock is a Professorial Fellow in the National Institute of Labour Studies at Flinders University and an Honorary Visiting Fellow in the School of Economics at the University of Adelaide. He was the foundation Professor of Economics at Flinders University and subsequently became is Vice-Chancellor of the University. He is now an Emeritus Professor.

He served for ten years as a Deputy President and Senior Deputy President of the Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission and the Australian Industrial Relations Commission.

Joe Isaac is a Professorial Fellow in the Department of Management at the University of Melbourne and a well known authority on labour economics and industrial relations. He has held chairs in Economics at both the University of Melbourne and Monash University, and was Deputy President of the Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General