EMPL5412 Employment Relations

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit introduces students to foundational concepts of employment relations within the context of the Australian industrial relations system. Core questions include—What is employment relations? Why do some companies have good employment relations and others do not? What constitutes good employment relations? These questions are addressed from the perspective of the worker, the manager and the government. In addition, students consider the nature of work, the relationship between employer and employee, the role of management, the role of trade unions, as well as exploring areas of conflict and cooperation. These concepts are fundamental to an understanding of employment relations both at the workplace and at the broader national level within any country. The unit also provides students with a basic introduction to the workings of the Australian industrial relations system. Students learn about the formal institutions as well as examine contemporary employment relations policies and issues. International students are encouraged to apply their learning about employment relations concepts to their home country context, should they so prefer.
Students are able to (1) describe the interests of workers, unions, managers, employers and the state within the workplace and the broader environment; (2) explain and analyse the complexity of the relationship between employer and employee; (3) explain the logic of collective action by employers and employees; (4) identify the reasons why governments take an interest in workplace relations and what institutions they create to regulate employment relations issues; (5) identify the factors which lead to cooperation or conflict in workplace relations and what institutions they create to regulate employment relations issues; (6) apply concepts from the unit to practical contexts and issues and to participate in contemporary debates about the nature of regulation in the Australian employment relations system; and (7) develop written and oral communication skills.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) seminar participation; (2) group presentation; and (3) examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Renata Casado
Contact hours
lectures/seminars/workshops: up to 3 hours per week
Unit Outline
Semester 1-2020 [SEM-1-2020]
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus. Copies of textbooks and other readings will be made available for students to access from the Library, online wherever possible as well as in print.