Employee representation in Australia
There are various arguments against establishment of works of council in Australia. For instance, John Buchanan argues that there would be overwhelming of legislators’ ambitions by the labour market context and grounds of the current workplace in Australia. This means that labour contexts in Australia would not really work for the establishment of works councils in Australia. There are other people like Chris Briggs who argue that the main problem in Australia is not about employee representation.
Rather the problem that exists in Australia is inequality at the workplace. These people are not against works councils in Australia but they are rather concerned about the effects of having works councils in Australia. This is because they speculate that the works councils may increase work inequalities. The other reason is that they can lead to entrenchment of managerial prerogatives in Australia. These two argue that in case works councils are implemented in Australia, then they should be recognized in terms of multi employer basis.
There are various arguments for and against the establishment of works councils in Australia. According to MacCallum and Patmore, argue that in case works councils are established in Australia, their power may not extend to non-constitutional corporations and to individuals.
This is according to a study carried out by Martin Foley. This man says that if legislatively prescribed mechanism is implemented, then employees would need to inquire about many issues concerning representatives of the workforce. According to Foley, he argues that whichever model is implemented, should include a clear distinction between the role of works council and that of unions that are found at the work place. This is because he says that works councils are employee systems.
He therefore advocates for a clear distinction of the roles of these two bodies at the workplace. This idea makes sense because unless there is a clear distinction, then there are bound to be conflicts in future. Foley argues very vividly that in case there is implementation of works of councils the German style in Australia, unions in this country will need to go through a major overhaul. This is in terms of their views on their power in the economy. They will also need to have a major change on their role in the post industrial economy in general.
Unless this is carried out, there are bound to be major conflicts between these two bodies. That is, works councils and trade unions. In other words, he argues that establishment of works councils in Australia could lead to a big decline in trade unions operations therein. Stephen Long on the other hand argues that establishment of works councils in Australia will not necessarily lead to decline in unions. He also argues that works councils are not responsible for problems of employee representation in Australia. This is especially at the enterprise levels.
According to long, there are high chances that the present Coalition government may not support the establishment and functioning of works councils. This is in line with the works councils that may inhibit prerogatives of managers. He argues that on the other hand, there are high chances that employers may not compromise any of their rights to works of councils in Australia. This includes both formal and legal rights I this case. In this case there is great need for conciliation and arbitration system to be put in place as this will give unions a legal recognition.