Faculty of Law

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedNot offered in 2013


This unit will examine the following major areas:

  1. the development of the Australian federal system for regulating workplace relations, industrial disputes and minimum conditions of employment, including the federal agencies Fair Work Australia and the Fair Work Ombudsman; the impact of globalization and international labour standards on the Australian labour market and its regulation
  2. the scope and coverage of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), its constitutional basis and attempts to establish a national system
  3. statutory minimum conditions for Australian workers, minimum wages and the safety net provided by the Modern Award system
  4. the purpose, scope and content of enterprise agreements; good faith bargaining and the use of industrial action as a bargaining tool
  5. the protection of workplace rights, such as the right to join a union
  6. the enforcement of minimum conditions, modern awards and enterprise agreements through the Fair Work Ombudsman and the court system.


On completion of the subject students should understand:

  1. the importance of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and the institutions it establishes in regulating all significant aspects of the Australian workplace relations system;
  2. the centrality of constitutional power in determining the federal government's capacity to establish a uniform national workplace relations system;
  3. how minimum standards for workers are set and enforced;
  4. the legal nature of enterprise bargaining and the role of protected industrial action in bargaining for terms and conditions of work; and
  5. how the Fair Work Act protects legislatively-defined workplace rights, including the freedom to choose whether or not to join a union.


Class test (1hour plus 10 minutes reading time) or written research assignment subject to lecturer approval 1250 words: 25%
Examination (2 hours writing time plus 30 minutes reading time): 75%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

Three hours of lectures per week


LAW1100 or LAW1101 and LAW1102 or LAW1104