Unfair dismissals in Australia: does arbitration help employees?

Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Employee Relations: the international journal, 2006, 28 (5), pp. 483 - 495
Issue Date:
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Purpose To determine the factors associated with arbitration awards in unfair dismissal complaints under Australian federal legislation and to assess whether employees benefit from arbitration. Design/methodology/approach This research involves an empirical analysis of 342 decisions in 17 industries by arbitrators in the Australian Industrial Relations Commission over the four year period 1997-2000. Logistic and ordinary least squares regression are used to analyse the data. Findings The findings of this study indicate that 50.6 per cent of arbitration decisions were in favour of employees and only 10.8 per cent of complainants were reinstated. Independent variables which are significantly associated with each of the three dependent variables are identified. Research implications/limitations The results of this study enable researchers to gain a deeper understanding of the arbitration process and recognise independent variables that are associated with the arbitrator's decision in unfair dismissal cases.
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