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CHAPTER 35

THE WORK ENVIRONMENT AND THE EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP

CHAPTER CONTENTS
Introduction to employment law The employment contract Implied duties in the contract of employment The employer The employee Termination Death Bankruptcy or dissolution Sale of the business Frustration Termination by notice The importance of the Commonwealth Constitution Act 1900 (Imp) The National Workplace Relations Scheme Administration Rights and responsibilities of employees, employers and organisations The 10 National Employment Standards Modern awards Termination without notice Redundancy Human rights-based work regulations Workplace discrimination Federal legislation State legislation Equal opportunity of employment Affirmative action Sexual harassment Non-discriminatory language Occupational health and safety, and workers’ compensation Occupational health and safety Workers’ compensation

CHAPTER OBJECTIVES
On completion of this chapter, you should be able to: C01 distinguish between an employee and an independent contractor, and understand the reasons behind such a distinction

C02 explain how a contract of employment may be created C03 identify the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees C04 provide an overview of the Australian industrial relations system and industrial regulation C05 recognise the role of anti-discrimination legislation in the workplace C06 recognise the role of occupational health and safety legislation in the workplace C07 recognise the role of workers’ compensation legislation in the workplace.

KEY TERMS
An understanding of the following terms will help you to better understand the material in this chapter. Award: a binding order made by an industrial tribunal, setting out the rights and obligations of employers and employees who fall under the ambit of the award. Employee: works under a contract of employment and personally performs a task or tasks allocated by their employer, as well as being subject to the control and direction of the employer.

For more information go to MyLawLab: www.pearson.com.au/ mylawlab

Enterprise agreement: a collective agreement made between unions and employers or employees and employers, usually covering a single business (or a distinct operational or organisational unit within a single business) or geographically distinct part of a business. Independent contractor: works under a contract for service, and performs an agreed task for an agreed price and is only subject to limited control and direction of the employer. Modern award: an award that has been reviewed and complies with current standards as to conditions and mutual flexibility of work practices. Australian business organisations provide the context for work and the employment relationship. Over the last 20 years, business organisations in Australia have had to respond to many changes in the political, social and economic environments in which they operate. There has been a significant growth in human rights-based work regulations that goes to the very heart of the right of management to make decisions that affect the operation and survival of their organisations. There have also been enormous changes to factors in the work environment that influence the employment relationship. Since changes to the industrial relations legislation in 1992, the focus of industrial tribunals and their decisions has moved away from the centralised, highly regulated national and state coverage to a more decentralised focus on individual organisations and workplaces. We have seen changing workforce structures, changing occupational groups and changing attitudes to work. These changes have not only been reflected in the internal organisational structure of business organisations, but also in legislation.

This chapter considers the difference between an employee and an independent contractor, how employment is created and the rights and duties that flow between the parties from that relationship, and how...
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