Industrial relations in Australia is undergoing considerable change. The counterpart organisations to unions for employees are, of course, employer associations. This paper argue that employer associations exist to provide to employers, services to enable them to cope with the demands of unions and the complexities of employing staff in terms of wages to be paid and other legal obligations under awards, health and safety legislation, workers' compensation provisions and other industrial legislation. (Marker's notes)
Employer associations consist of groups of employers who represent and participate on behalf of their members. They combine their activities to protect their mutual interest and objectives. These associations can either be reactive or proactive. 'However, employer associations have a wide range of functions, covering both trade and industrial matters such as information, publicity, promotion, finance, education and research, trade regulations and political lobbying' (Deery and Plowman, 1985:182-3).
Employer associations deal with industrial relations issues affecting their members. A distinction can, in practice, be made between employer organisations and employer associations. Not all employer organisations are concerned with industrial relations issues. Those which are, are referred to as 'employer associations' (Deery and Plowman, op cit, p.191). Thus, employer associations are a particular form of employer organisation. In essence, employer organisations developed to provide services which individual employers could not provide nearly as easily. More specifically, employer organisations were developed to fulfil a number of aims. The aim of employer groups are varied. The first is to regulate trade and competition by mutual agreement. The second is to seek statutory protection in trade, particularly concerning imports. The third is to provide services in the fields of industrial relations and personnel administrat...
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