Workplace dispute and grievance procedures in large Australian organisations

Jonathan Hamberger

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract


For more than 20 years, industrial relations legislation at both Federal and State level has encouraged the implementation of dispute resolution procedures at the workplace level. In particular, it has been a requirement that all collective agreements contain such a procedure. Somewhat surprisingly there has been virtually no research in Australia into how these procedures work in practice. This paper presents initial findings from stage one of the research project, which consisted of exploratory case studies of seven large Australian organisations from the private, public and not for profit sectors. Interviews were conducted with management and union officials and documentary material was examined and analysed. A key finding arising from stage one is that in addition to the dispute resolution procedures mandated by legislation, all of the organisations had also implemented separate employee grievance procedures in the form of management policies. The paper discusses some of the implications of this development. On its face, these latter procedures provide a much higher level of managerial control over the process of dispute resolution than the legislated procedures, yet they appear to have met little employee or union resistance. The paper discusses the next stage of the research project, which will be focused on the employee perspective.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-32
Number of pages2
JournalExpo 2010 Higher Degree Research : book of abstracts
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventHigher Degree Research Expo (6th : 2010) - Sydney
Duration: 19 Nov 201019 Nov 2010


  • dispute resolution
  • workplace grievance procedures


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