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Making of Agreements

Discuss about the Internal Organizational Boundaries and Commission.

The fair work commission is an independent body whose mandate is to ensure good workplace conditions and maintenance of safety net of minimum salaries, in addition to other employment functions and regulations. The Fair Work Act enhances a more national framework for controlling industrial relations in Australia. Every state has the right to provide part or all of their industrial relations governance to the commonwealth. Therefore, all the workers of that particular state will efficiently be covered by the national Fair Work Act in case a state decides to refer their governance to a central and national industrial relations framework (Bray & Stewart, 2013). The Fair work Commission has taken over the mandates of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) in solving workplace problems and industrial actions. The main functions of the Fair Work Commission include fixation of a minimum wage, resolving disputes, approving enterprise agreements and resolving claims of unfair dismissal. It is important to note that it is the body that replaced the Australian Industrial Relations Commission. Also, it executes roles previously carried out by the Australian Fair Pay Commission and the Workplace Authority. Besides this, it is involved in the procedure of enhancing national industrial relations policies. This includes, controlling the award framework and maintaining minimum wages (Buchanan, 2013). This paper is a discussion of the functions of the Fair Work Commission in the making and approving of agreements.

An enterprise agreement can be created between one or more workers with their chosen agents. Moreover, the enterprise agreement can be modified to benefit certain enterprises (James & Ombudsman, 2015). Ellem argues that during the process of making a contract, where leaders have failed to negotiate in good faith, the good faith negotiating requirements will act to prevent problems by allowing the Fair Work Commission to make orders (Ellem, 2014). This should serve the interests of both the general public and negotiating representatives. In addition, if one bargaining partner believes that the other partner is not negotiating in good faith, they must inform the offending partner of their distresses and give a reasonable period to respond. This will prevent assumptions that the representatives are not negotiating in good faith because the Fair Work Commission will only be able to create negotiating orders, if it is convinced that this report was prepared (Hustedt &Seyfried, 2016). In order to enhance integrity of existing contracts, the Fair Work Commission cannot create good faith negotiating orders until after three months before the nominal expiry date of a continuing contract, if the manager has not offered the workers a new contract. Ellem highlights that it is not necessary for the negotiating representatives to sign up to a contract where they do not accept the terms of the contract. If the Fair Work Commission suspects that they have been extreme breaches of negotiating orders by negotiating representatives and those breaches have significantly affected the contract, it will have the right to create a workstation determination. Furthermore, good faith negotiating requirements protect managers from unfair negotiating procedures, therefore, if negotiating representatives do not agree about the contract, they have a right to jointly walk away.

Approval of Agreements

According to Howe, it is important to note that before approval of an agreement, the Fair Work Commission must be convinced that the agreement has a contract that highlights a process that enables the commission or another individual who is dependent of the managers, workers or workers unions covered by the agreement, to resolve cases about situations arising under the contract and in accordance to the National Employment Standards (NES) (Howe, 2014). Such a contract must enable for the representation of workers indicated in the agreement in order to simplify the dispute resolution procedure.  All the enterprise agreements must also be checked by the Fair Work Commission for consent before they begin operation. The authorization procedure is simple and involves periodic valuation of the enterprise agreement and conditions under which it is created. After the agreement has been approved by the employees, the Fair Work Commission will certify that the contract is genuine, the set of workers covered by the contract is fairly chosen, the contract is in accordance with the ‘Better Off  Overall Test’ (BOOT) and the contract does not contain illegal content. The certification procedure under the Fair Work Act will shorten most of the process applied during the fairness test. During the period of contract, the negotiating team is required to provide a constitutional declaration outlining the content of the contract. Besides this, it is important that the agreement is signed by the employer and a leader of the workers (Roles & O'Donnell, 2013).

The enterprise agreements can enable that increment in salaries and allowances are associated with the productivity increase at the enterprise. This is a result of negotiations at the level of enterprise which are favorable reflecting the financial position of the enterprise. In addition, collective bargaining will boost productivity rather than focus on negotiations. Therefore, collective bargaining under the Fair Work Commission will not be restricted by rules and is developed to have a good effect on labour productivity. Before the transition Act, the workstation Authority should apply a fairness test to agreements. The Fairness Test is very beneficial to the business but it is usually faced with inefficiencies. Besides this, the implementation of the Fairness Test has led to big delays in the approval of agreements (Giudice, 2014).

In addition, the Fair Work Commission will use the BOOT to ensure that every worker protected by the agreement is in a better position as compared to another modern award. The usage of modern awards as reference will enhance simplification of the authorization process as compared to the current, difficult minimum standards engagements.  Moreover, it enhances growth and fairness through company contracts that are created to meet the needs of companies and the workers (Howe, 2014). This involves providing the workers and managers with the freedom to elect individuals of their choice to represent them in negotiations for a proposed contract. It also assists Fair Work Australia to enhance good faith bargaining and the development of contracts. For instance, through creating negotiating orders and solving cases where parties need help and making sure that workers included in the agreement are in a better position against the latest safety net.

Functions of Fair Work Commission

McKenzie highlights that the Fair Work Commission has other functions that include setting a framework for handling the requirements of employment in a situation where there is transfer of business that enables a balance between the protection of the requirements of employment and the needs of managers in managing their company effectively (McKenzie, 2015). Secondly, it enhances representation and equality at the work station through simplified and straightforward general protections focused with workstation and industrial rights (Trigger, Keenan, Rijke & Rifkin, 2014). For example, freedom and rights of association and protection against biasness, illegal termination and fake appointments which hide employment appointments as independent contractor engagements. In addition, it offers protection against biased dismissal for workers using a flexible, fast and informal procedure, a stress on fair dismissal code and emphasis for small enterprises. Thirdly, it provides tough and clear regulations against industrial strikes, with the freedom to have peaceful industrial strikes in the course of negotiations in support of assertions relative to a new business contract resulting to a democratic and fair election. It also involves authorizing the Fair Work commission to create orders to end industrial strikes and prevent limitations on payment to workers during industrial strikes (Charlesworth & Macdonald, 2015). It also maintains an equal and balanced system for freedom of entry for executives of companies and authorizes the Fair Work Commission to handle exploitations of rights by officials, unreasonable demands by managers and civil cases. Moreover, it gives a right for managers to face workers in extreme situations. Fourthly, it enables submission with the latest workstation relations framework in enhancing a particular, available compliance framework. Therefore, this involves the empowerment of the Fair Work Departments of the federal court or the federal Magistrates court to create any order that is necessary to solve an infringement. Also, it involves the ability to create privileges under a contract of working that associates to similar subject-matters as the modern award in the federal court and the federal Magistrates court by supervisors in affected states and territory courts and a number of claims process in the Federal Magistrates court (James & Ombudsman, 2015).   

To conclude, the Fair Work Commission simplifies the process of making and approving agreements. The Fair work Commission has engaged the roles of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) in solving workplace problems and industrial actions.  In relation to this, it provides information about the procedure of creating enterprise agreements and contracts. The Fair Work Commission also approves and evaluates the agreements and resolves issues arising about the terms of agreements. The major functions of the Fair Work Commission include fixation of a minimum wage, resolving disputes, approving enterprise agreements and resolving claims of unfair dismissal. In addition, it is involved in the procedure of enhancing national industrial relations policies including controlling the award framework and maintaining minimum wages.   

References

Bray, M., & Stewart, A. (2013). From the arbitration system to the Fair Work Act: The changing approach in Australia to voice and representation at work. Adel. L. Rev., 34, 21.

Buchanan, J., Bretherton, T., Frino, B., Jakubauskas, M., Schutz, J., Verma, G., & Yu, S. (2013). Minimum wages and their role in the process and incentives to bargain. Melbourne: Fair Work Commission, https://apo. org. au/files/Resource/fwc_minimum-wages-incentives-to-bargain_2013. pdf.

Charlesworth, S., & Macdonald, F. (2015). Women, work and industrial relations in Australia in 2014. Journal of Industrial Relations, 57(3), 366-382.

Ellem, B. (2014). A battle between titans? Rio Tinto and union recognition in Australia’s iron ore industry. Economic and Industrial Democracy, 35(1), 185-200.

Giudice AO, T. H. G. (2014). Industrial relations law reform–What value should be given to stability?. Journal of Industrial Relations, 56(3), 433-441.

Howe, J. (2014). Is the net cast too wide? An assessment of whether the regulatory design of the 457 visa meets Australia's skill needs.

Hustedt, T., & Seyfried, M. (2016). Co-ordination across internal organizational boundaries: how the EU Commission co-ordinates climate policies. Journal of European Public Policy, 23(6), 888-905.

McKenzie, D. M. (2015). The role of mediation in resolving workplace relationship conflict. International journal of law and psychiatry, 39, 52-59.

Steele, S., Wee, M. S., & Ramsay, I. (2016). Remunerating Corporate Insolvency Practitioners in the United Kingdom, Australia and Singapore: The Roles of Courts.

Trigger, D., Keenan, J., Rijke, K., & Rifkin, W. (2014). Aboriginal engagement and agreement-making with a rapidly developing resource industry: Coal seam gas development in Australia. The Extractive Industries and Society, 1(2), 176-188.

Roles, C., & O'Donnell, M. (2013). The Fair Work Act and worker voice in the Australian Public Service. Adel. L. Rev., 34, 93.

James, N., & Ombudsman, F. W. (2015). Commonwealth of Australia.

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