Formalised individual agreements in Australia: Organisational strategies, outcomes and processes of Australian workplace agreements

Paul J. Gollan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

There is considerable political and industrial relations debate in Australia concerning the value and merit of Australian workplace agreements (AWAs). However, formalised individual agreements are a relatively new phenomenon in the Australian industrial relations landscape, consequently, to date there has been limited assessment of the strategies, outcomes and processes involved in making and negotiating such agreements. This paper attempts to fill this gap by reviewing responses from 688 employers who had approved AWAs with the Office of the Employment Advocate (OEA) before February 2000. There are a number of issues that can be identified from this exploratory study. AWA employers were likely to be “individualistic” employers with more individual employee consultation and human resource practices. Individual employee and employer consultation arrangements were more likely to be used in establishing AWAs and generally communicating with the workforce as a whole. The survey also suggested that the majority of respondents intended to increase their use of AWAs in the future citing increased flexibility and the benefit of all employees being under one type of industrial relations instrument as the primary reasons for their introduction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-61
Number of pages18
JournalEmployee Relations
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2004

Keywords

  • Australia
  • Corporate strategy
  • Human resource management
  • Industrial relations

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