Course Title: Manage Industrial Relations Policies and Processes

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2009

Course Code: BUSM7644C

Course Title: Manage Industrial Relations Policies and Processes

School: 650T TAFE Business

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5137 - Diploma of Business Management

Course Contact : Seymour Jacobson

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 1563

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 80

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

Experience in frontline, senior supervisory or management positions

Course Description

This unit covers the range of competencies required of a manager who has day-to-day involvement in, and management of, industrial relations matters within the organisation.  It includes negotiations, conflict management and dispute resolution.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

BSBHR504A Manage Industrial Relations Policies and Processes


Develop industrial relations (IR) strategies/policies

Performance Criteria:

1. Strategic plans and operational plans are analysed to determine long term industrial relations objectives
2. Existing industrial relations performance is analysed in relation to strategic IR objectives
3. Performance gaps are identified by the management team
4. Options are evaluated in terms of cost benefit and risk analyses
5. Industrial relations strategies/policies are agreed within the mgt team
6. Options to eliminate the gaps over the short to medium term are developed


Industrial relations strategies/policies and plans are implemented

Performance Criteria:

1. An implementation plan for the IR strategies/policies is developed by the management team
2. The implementation plan includes risk analyses and contingency plans
3. Training and development is provided where appropriate to support the IR plan
4. Contingency plans are prepared in the event that negotiations break down
5. Negotiations are undertaken between employer representatives and employee representatives, to agree to changes required by either group
6. Agreed outcomes of negotiations are documented and certified in the relevant jurisdiction where appropriate
7. Breakdowns in negotiations are managed in accordance with the organisation's IR strategies/policies and legal requirements
8. Outcomes of agreements are monitored and evaluated
9. Remedial action is taken where groups or individuals fail to abide by agreements


Manage Conflict

Performance Criteria:

1. Problem solving/grievance procedures are agreed and documented
2. Individuals are trained in conflict management techniques
3. Procedures are in place to ensure early advice/notification of grievances/conflicts/disputes within the organisation
4. Causes of conflict/grievance are identified and alleviated/eliminated in accordance with organisational policies and legal requirements
5. Disputes resolution procedures are followed with referral to external bodies as a last resort
6. Specialist/expert advice is sought and considered where appropriate
7. The organisation's position is strongly advocated by appropriate representatives both internally and within relevant jurisdiction
8. Workplaces are monitored to minimise dysfunctional conflict
9. Conflict management procedures are regularly reviewed and improved where appropriate

Learning Outcomes

Refer to competency elements

Details of Learning Activities

Students work individually and in groups, sharing their learning. The learning activities students will take a role in are:
• Case studies
• Videos
• Collaborative classroom activities
• Peer interaction
• Simulations
• Reflection and discussion
• Accessing information on-line
• Workplace activities

Teaching Schedule

To be completed in Feb 2009

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Online Learning Materials

Online learning materials can be accessed by going into the RMIT web site, clicking on Students, under IT Information and Services there is a link to the Online Learning Hub. Log in and click on BUSM7644C - Manage Industrial Relations.

It is essential to have access to an internet connected computer outside of class times. Internet connected computers are available in the Business Labs on level 3 of building 108, 259 Bourke Street Melbourne.

Recommended reading

Eunson, Baden,1996. Dealing with conflict John Wiley & Sons, Brisbane. Bus and Carlton 658.45 E88
Performance – poor work performance
Fournies, Ferdinand (1988) Why employees don’t do what they are supposed to do, and what to do about it, Liberty Hall Press, McGraw-Hill, USA.

Brounstein, Mary (1993) Handling the difficult employee : solving performance problems, Crisp Publications, Australia. Bus Lib 658.3045 B875

Useful websites
Most class handouts and web links will be uploaded to the course website Access this using your student log-on.

The Workplace Authority, previously known as the Office of the Employment Advocate, provides advice and assistance to employees and employers (particularly in small business) about their rights, responsibilities and opportunities under the Workplace Relations Act 1996, especially with regard to Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs). It checks agreements against a Fairness Test to make sure employees get fair compensation.

Australian Industrial Relations Commission The Australian Industrial Relations Commission provides, in accordance with federal legislation, the institutional framework to support cooperative workplace relations which promote the economic prosperity and welfare of the people of Australia.   Daily hearings list all states; transcripts of cases, Workplace Relations Act and Regulations, about the Commission, Annual Reports, major current cases, termination of employment law and guidelines.

This page contains links to the various fact sheets available on the website.

Wages and conditions of employment all states.

The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) is the lead government agency providing national leadership in education and workplace training, transition to work and conditions and values in the workplace.

Australian Workplace

Equal Opportunity and Diversity
Human Right and Equal Opportunity Commission
Equal Opportunity Commission of Victoria

The Workplace Ombudsman, previously known as the Office of Workplace Services, investigates and prosecutes employers who break the law. The Workplace Ombudsman provides additional protection for employees and takes on a greater role in ensuring that employers comply with their legal obligations.

Legal Information
Australian Legal Information Institute
Victorian Law Today

Employer Organisations
Australian Confederation of Commerce and Industry

Employee Organisations
Australian Council of Trade Unions
Victorian Trades Hall Council

International Labor Organization (ILO) Geneva

Academic and Research
ACIRRT, University of Sydney

Overview of Assessment

Assessments will incorporate a variety of methods including essays,  in class exercises, a written test, practical problem solving exercises, presentations and role plays. Students are advised that they are likely to be asked to personally demonstrate their assessment work to their teacher to ensure that the relevant competency standards are being met.

Assessment Tasks

Important Point:
All assessments are graded. To pass the course, students must submit and pass each individual assessment task and achieve competency in all course elements.
Assessment will incorporate a variety of methods including in class exercises, written tests, presentations and projects. Students are advised that they are likely to be asked to personally demonstrate their assessment work to their teacher to ensure that the relevant competency standards are being met.  Students will be provided with more than one opportunity to demonstrate competence.

Assessment Task 1
Research project
Industrial relations strategies and policies
Workplace analysis

This assessment is in two parts.

Part A. Presentation and Report

The objective of this assessment is to establish how the strategic objectives of management can be facilitated and implemented through industrial relations policies and procedures incorporated into enterprises bargaining agreements.

Students work in small groups of up to 3 maximum and prepare a presentation demonstrating the impact of an organisation’s strategic planning on that organisations human resource policy and procedures, with a particular focus on enterprise bargaining agreements.

Select an organisation or enterprise (use your own workplace or one you are familiar with) and analyse the role of employee relations policies and strategies in meeting that organisation or enterprises’ strategic goals.

1. Gather evidence to enable you to identify the IR/ER strategy and policies of the organisation (attach documents as appendices), and the challenges that the company faces and the strategies it implements to meet the challenges.
2. Identify and analyse the long term IR objectives of the organisation.
3. Identify the strategies that are utilised to implement those objectives.
4. Identify any performance gaps, that is outcomes that are less than those stated in the strategic IR/ER objectives
5. Give examples of the implementation of the enterprise or organisation’s strategy, particularly through enterprise bargaining, where applicable.
6. Analyse the effectiveness of the strategy in meeting the IR/ER objectives

You are required to do a presentation of no more than15 minutes. Ensure that your presentation addresses all aspects of the assessment.

A copy of the presentation slides notes and attachments, is to be handed in.

Assessment criteria.
Students address each the matters listed 1-6 above.

30% of total mark group mark i.e. one and the same mark for each student

Assessment Task 2.
Negotiation role-play and report: termination of employment

This assessment is in two parts.

Part A. Role Play and Memo Report
This assignment is to take the form of (1) a role play in class and (2) a memo report to the General Manager to inform him/her of your proposed course of action, and explain how the action you intend to take abides by the Workplace Relations Act

You will be given some background information relating to this grievance.
You will use the information in your brief and to develop your strategy and process.

Assessment criteria.
The assessment criteria for the role play will be distributed in the week prior to the assessment.

Part B. Report.

Students are required to submit a short reflective paper on their own and other’s performance in the role play, and outline how they can improve their own performance in meeting the requirements of the Workplace Relations Act.

Assessment criteria
Students will be assessed on their identification of.
• Elements of other students performance from which they have learnt.
• Elements within their own performance that may be improved.
• How and why that learning and reflection will enable them to better meet the WRA requirements of substantive and procedural fairness.

30% of final mark

Assessment Task 3

A knowledge test comprised of true/false, multiple choice and short answer questions.

This will be an open book exam.

Value: 30% of total mark.

Self Managed Learning

Outside of class students are expected to work on assessments, prepare for role play, do their major reading and research. Students are advised not to leave preparation til the last week the assessment is due, as they will have trouble meeting the deadline.

Assessment Matrix

Assessment Matrix
Students will be assessed directly against a mixture of the elements and performance criteria that comprise the competency.

For a student based at the RMIT BUSINESS campus in Melbourne, Australia  the assessment will be:

 Task 1Task 2Task 3
Develop industrial relations (IR) strategies/policies
  X  X  X
Industrial relations strategies/policies and plans are implemented
  X  X  X
Manage Conflict
   X  X

Course Overview: Access Course Overview