Australian firms fail to keep pace with rapid industrial relations reform.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Human Resource Management International Digest, 2011, 19 (3), pp. 35 - 39
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Purpose: This paper aims to highlight the difficulties faced by employers in complying with a quick succession of industrial-relations legislation changes in Australia in recent times. Approach: The paper draws on the results of a field survey of 352 Australian organizations undertaken between August and December 2009. The survey was completed by businesses in every state and territory in Australia except the Northern Territory. Collectively, the organizations surveyed employed more than 100,000 staff. Findings: The paper reveals that the major challenge for most businesses appears to be the ability to maintain an effective human resources (HR) infrastructure to cope with the pace of industrial relations legislation changes in recent times. Practical implications: The paper gives an insight into the level of risk that Australian employers face as a result of legislative non-compliance. It guides managers and HR specialists in assessing the exposure of their organizations/ clients to the risks identified. Social implications: The paper reveals that a significant proportion of Australian businesses are failing to comply with the provisions of recent industrial-relations legislation. Originality/ value: The paper focuses on organizational awareness and preparedness to undertake changes to meet changing legislative requirements and the potentially damaging outcomes associated with non-compliance.
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