New Book: Collective Bargaining under the Fair Work Act

Shae McCrystal, Breen Creighton and Anthony Forsyth (eds)

Is the system of collective bargaining under the Fair Work Act broken? Both employers and unions think that it is, and that the legislation requires significant amendment. Are they right?

This collection answers this question by examining the operation, effects and impact of the framework for enterprise bargaining established by the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) nine years after it was enacted. This legislation, introduced by the Rudd Labor Government, was ostensibly intended to restore a collectivist focus to the system of industrial regulation following the Howard Coalition Government’s ‘Work Choices’ experiment. The ‘Fair Work’ model is now sufficiently mature to permit an informed examination of its practical operation, including its response to continuing rapid social, economic, structural and labour market change, and an evaluation of how it can and should respond to these changes in the future.

Comprising contributions from leading Australian scholars in the fields of law and industrial relations, and critical reflections on the operation of the Australian model from North American and United Kingdom contributors, this collection provides that evaluation, exploring the critical successes and failures of the Fair Work Act and setting out directions for future change.