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This subject addresses the law of work in highly unionised sectors. It examines the key legislation that regulates highly unionised workplaces and the rights and responsibilities of employers, employees and registered organisations. The subject considers in detail the interactions between workplace participants in these industries, including a detailed examination of rights of entry, workplace bargaining, coercion and secondary boycotts. The subject also examines the relationships between industry and regulatory bodies.
Principal topics will include:
- An introduction to key institutions and regulatory frameworks,
- Industry overview: key aspects of the industry (including portable leave schemes, sub-contracting and others),
- Distinguishing employees and independent contractors,
- The rights and responsibilities of industrial participants under the Fair Work Act,
- Rights of entry and their regulation:
- rights of entry of the Fair Work Act,
- rights of entry under state workplace health and safety laws.
- Enterprise bargaining, industrial action (protected and unprotected),
- Coercion & secondary boycotts,
- The role of industry regulators: the Fair Work Ombudsman, WorkSafe, Wage Inspectorate Victoria,
- Emerging issues in industry (including diversity, harassment and others).
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject should be able to:
- Explain the key attributes of highly unionised industries, including by reference to the key legislation and institutions,
- Analyse and distinguish between employers and employees, based on the application of legal criteria to different factual situations,
- Examine the rights and responsibilities of employers, employees and registered organisations under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth),
- Identify and explain rights of entry and their regulation, and also analyse the interplay between the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and state work health and safety laws,
- Assess the practical operation of enterprise bargaining in highly unionised industries, including the legal requirements for protected industrial action, and the regulation and response to unprotected industrial action,
- Interpret the restrictions on coercion and secondary boycotts, and how they intersect with trade union rights and responsibilities within diverse legislative frameworks.
- Analyse and interpret inter-related legislative regimes,
- Identify and apply legal principles from multiple sources, including the common law and legislation,
- Recognise and explain the interaction between state and federal laws,
- Critically analyse complex factual situations and correctly apply the law to those situations,
- Identify and analyse contemporary societal issues through the framework of legal principles.
Last updated: 10 November 2023