Purpose of Industrial Relations Laws

Industrial relations laws are different in every nation but in general the purpose of such law is to:

  • promote the welfare of the workers and economic prosperity of the nation
  • pursue higher productivity to create economic conditions for high employment, improved living standards, low inflation and international competitiveness and increasing globalisation through a flexible and fair labour market
  • enable wages and conditions of employment to be determined as far as possible by the agreement of employers and employees at the workplace through enterprise bargaining
  • to provide a safety net of minimum wages and conditions of employment
  • to provide a framework for determining wages and conditions of pay according to job roles performed, in Australia this framework in referred to as Industrial Awards
  • providing a framework of rights and responsibilities for employers and employees
  • ensuring freedom of association, including the rights of employees and employers to join an organisation (e.g. a union), or not to join an organisation that provides assistance to the worker.
  • enabling an independent statutory body (for example an "Industrial Relations Commission") to prevent and settle industrial disputes as far as possible by promoting conciliation between parties, or by arbitration if this fails
  • assisting employees to balance their work and family responsibilities effectively through the development of mutually beneficial work practices with employers (see work-life balance)
  • respecting and valuing the diversity of the work force by helping to prevent and eliminate discrimination on the basis of race, colour, sex, sexual preference, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, family responsibilities, pregnancy, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin; and
  • ensure international obligations in relation to labour standards are met



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