The implications of de‐collectivist industrial relations laws and associated developments for worker health and safety in Australia, 1996–2007

Quinlan, Michael & Johnstone, Richard (2009) The implications of de‐collectivist industrial relations laws and associated developments for worker health and safety in Australia, 1996–2007. Industrial Relations Journal, 40(5), pp. 426-443.

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Abstract

The institutional and regulatory interlinkages between industrial relations (IR) and occupational health and safety (OHS) are seldom explored in the IR literature. This article begins to address this gap by examining regulatory initiatives in Australia during a period of neoliberal government. It examines the laws enacted by the federal government during this period and events and cases arising from these laws that go some way to illustrating their effects. Evidence is also drawn from detailed research on a number of state OHS inspectorates between 2004 and 2006. It is argued that de-collectivist changes to IR laws exacerbated problems posed by the growth of flexible work arrangements and a drop in union density, weakening participatory provisions in OHS laws and promoting work arrangements that undermined OHS standards. The study provides evidence of the implications of a divergence in the trajectory of IR and OHS laws and the importance of better integrating worker protection laws.

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ID Code: 78230
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2338.2009.00536.x
ISSN: 1468-2338
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Health Law Research
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 The Author(s). Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Deposited On: 03 Nov 2014 02:54
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2015 04:08

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