Different Pathways to the Decentralisation of Industrial Relations: Denmark and Australian compared

The Publishing Group Jurist
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Den danske model set udefra Anna Ilsøe. Larsen, 2016, pp. 127 - 146 (19)
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This paper compares the Danish and Australian systems of industrial relations over the past three decades. Despite significant differences in historical starting points and trajectories, that reflect different political economies, both Denmark and Australia have made the transition from a centralised to a more decentralised system. However, there are important differences in means by which these developments occurred and the extent to which the basic character of industrial relations has changed in each country. Furthermore, the nature of the earlier centralised industrial relations systems in Denmark and Australia were configured differently. The trend towards more decentralised forms of industrial relations among a number of countries, which were formerly more centralised, has been evident for some time. Katz (1993) reported a shift towards decentralised bargaining in six countries which he argued was initiated mainly by employers against the opposition of central union organisations. Katz and Darbishire (2000) later noted that there was increasing convergence across countries while at the same time there was increasing diversity within countries, which they described as ‘converging divergences’. They also commented that, despite evidence of divergence, ‘the persistence of sizable country differences in the relative mix of employment patterns, and the role that national level institutions play in shaping that mix, suggests a continuing influential role for national employment-related institutions’ (Katz and Darbishire 2000, 281).
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