Employer and Employer Association Matters in 2020

Louise Thornthwaite, Peter Sheldon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The emphasis of employers and employer associations, when 2020 began, was largely business as usual. With the pandemic’s advent, employers and associations reoriented some industrial relations activity, which encouraged cooperation while also highlighting sharp divisions. As the year progressed, however, it became increasingly apparent that the federal government’s responses to the pandemic provided unanticipated opportunities for the employer movement to push intensively their long-expressed desires for changes to the institutional structures of IR, and hence also bargaining and other processes. This article examines these and other activities which preoccupied employers and their associations in 2020, while also analysing some broader environmental, social and governance challenges affecting employer groups, which impact on their purpose and place within the employer movement more generally.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Industrial Relations
Issue number3
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 6 Feb 2021

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