LAW5390 - Workplace bargaining and agreements law - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Chief examiner(s)

Dr Richard Naughton Personal ProfilePersonal Profile (

Quota applies

Postgraduate programs are based on a model of small group teaching and therefore class sizes need to be restricted.

Not offered in 2018


For postgraduate Law discontinuation dates, please see

For postgraduate Law unit timetables, please see

Previously coded as LAW7435


This unit will examine the international concept and basis of collective bargaining including through international law, International Labor Organization conventions and their interpretation; the adoption of international standards and their concept in Australian labour law and the role of the courts, industrial tribunals and the legislature in developing the right to bargain and collective bargaining; the right to strike and the right to lockout in the context of negotiating collective agreements and their international basis; the limits on industrial action in collective bargaining; and when protected industrial action ballots (compulsory strike ballots) might be sought and ordered and the powers of the Fair Work Commission and the courts in relation to strike action.

The unit will also study the role of bargaining agents; the duty to bargain and the concept of good faith bargaining; the legal status of collective agreements and parties to agreements; the protection of labour standards in agreements via statute and the industrial tribunal; and legal issues about the role, content, termination and enforcement of agreements. The role of unions and employers in bargaining will be examined.

The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and related legislation, and recent amendments to federal labour law, together with court and tribunal decisions which interpret the laws and their operation, will be evaluated in relation to workplace bargaining and enterprise agreements, together with the use of individual flexibility arrangements and common law contracts.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  • Apply knowledge and understanding of recent developments in relation to the impact of laws which promote or restrict bargaining, with creativity and initiative to new situations in professional practice and/or for further learning
  • Investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories in relation to the right to bargain and the right to strike and lockout in the context of enterprise bargaining
  • Conduct research in the law of workplace bargaining and enterprise agreements based on knowledge of appropriate research principles and methods
  • Use cognitive, technical and creative skills to generate and evaluate at an abstract level complex ideas and concepts relevant to Workplace Bargaining and Agreements Law.


Research assignment (3,750 words): 50%

Take-home examination: (3,750 words): 50%

In appropriate cases determined by the lecturer where a student has experience in the practice of workplace bargaining and agreements law, assessment may be one research assignment (7,500 words) for 100% of the marks.

Workload requirements

24 contact hours per semester (either intensive, semi-intensive or semester long, depending on the Faculty resources, timetabling and requirements)