No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2016

INR504 Industrial Relations and the Legal Environment (8)


Labour Law or Industrial Law as it is often called, is a relatively recent phenomenon in our legal system. Since the beginning of last century, there has been an explosion of laws which govern the relationships of employers and employees. Some of these laws govern the `collective' relationships between employers and employees, e.g. the industrial arbitration statutes, trade union statutes; and others govern `individual' relationships between employers and employees, e.g. the common law relationships - the contract of employment, employer liability for negligence and workers compensation.

This subject will examine both the `collective' and `individual' aspects of the relationship between employers and employees and discover how these relationships are dealt with in the Australian Industrial Relations System.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details prior to contacting their course coordinator: INR504
Where differences exist between the handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One session.HD/FLSchool of Management and Marketing

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
- be able to outline the major sources of labour law and their relationship to each other.
- be able to demonstrate understanding of the `contract of employment' both under common law and its relationship to the Industrial Relations system.
- be able to identify the differences between a `contract of employment' and a contract for services (independent contractor).
- be able to demonstrate understanding of the Commonwealth's constitutional powers and in particular those which impact on industrial relations, including recent High Court decisions on the industrial power, Sect. 51 (xxxv) and other constitutional powers.
- be able to demonstrate understanding of how the Australian Industrial Systems operates and the limits of the Australian Industrial Relations Commissions jurisdiction, including the contents of a Federal award.
- be able to demonstrate understanding of both the common law and legislative aspects of Occupational Health and Safety laws, including Workers Compensation.
- be able to identify the various pieces of `anti-discrimination in employment' legislation in Australia and how they impact on the employer/employee relationships.


The subject will cover the following topics:
- Introduction to labour law 
  • What is labour law?
  • Major sources of labour law.
  • Contract of employment and the Australian Industrial Relations system.
- The contract of employment 
  • General
  • Specific issues
- The constitutional basis of industrial law
- What is an industry? What is an industrial dispute?
- Contents of Federal Awards and NES (National Employment Standards)
- Industrial organisations and industrial action. 
- OH&S Laws.
- Anti-Discrimination in employment.


The information contained in the 2016 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 06 September 2016. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.