Employer Association Essay

1757 words - 7 pages

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 administration. The fourth is to lobby within the political arena in opposition to social legislation (concerning, for example, minimum pay laws, reduced hours of work, and, in Australia, the establishment of conciliation and arbitration tribunals) (Windmuller, 1984:1).The maze of employer associations in Australia is quite complex and attempts at classifying different types of associations are necessarily approximate. People suggest classification of employer associations into two general groups: single industry associations and multi-industry (or umbrella) associations. People divide the single industry grouping into three sub-groups: autonomous associations, semi-autonomous associations and dependent associations.The single industry associations parallel the role of craft and industrial unions, enrol members in particular industries and limit their services to the problems of those industries. Multi-industry organisations, such as the Chambers of Manufacturers and Employers' Federations, service the needs of individual employers in...

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