Regulation and Employment Relations in Aged Care

Monash University
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Labour & Industry, 2009, 20 (1), pp. 67 - 88
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As Australia's population ages, the provision of aged care is gaining economic, social and political significance. The increasing importance of aged care is reflected in a number of recent government inquiries into the sector and some notable research into its regulation. However, academic investigation into employment relations in the residential aged care sector has been scarce. Even less attention has been paid to the employment relations strategies of residential aged care providers and the forces and pressures which shape them. This article seeks to address that gap by reporting on research which identifies those forces and pressures on a specific provider in New South Wales residential aged care. It does so utilising regulation theory to argue that despite significant changes to the formal industrial relations framework, most recently through Work Choices, labour regulation is not the most significant factor shaping the employment relations decisions of employers in residential aged care. Labour law represents but one element in a diverse and intersecting web of regulations. Combined, these create the 'regulatory space' within which aged care providers make decisions about employment relation
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