The Australian Industrial Relations Commission: adapting or dying?

Over the past decade, developments such as the growth of enterprise bargaining and new legislation, particularly The Workplace Relations Act 1996, have directly challenged the traditional core role of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) in industrial relations. This paper assesses the current role of the AIRC, particularly the usage, processes and attitudes of the users of the AIRC. Basing our analysis on a questionnaire survey of users of the Commission, focus groups and interviews, the paper argues that, despite the Act, the AIRC is sufficiently adaptable to continue to play a vital role in the federal industrial relations system.

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