Course Title: Work within the Current Industrial Relations Climate

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2012

Course Code: JUST5180

Course Title: Work within the Current Industrial Relations Climate

School: 365T Global Studies, Soc Sci & Plng

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6077 - Advanced Diploma of Justice

Course Contact : Anthony Trevan

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 99254512

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Patrick Prescott

Phone: +(61 3) 9925 8371


Nominal Hours: 54

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

No pre-requisites or prior knowledge required.

Course Description

This unit supports the attainment of skills and knowledge required for competent workplace performance that complies with industrial relations requirements, in a range of organisations. Knowledge of the legislation and regulations within which these organisations must operate is essential.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VU20285 Work within the Current Industrial Relations Climate


01. Investigate issues relevant to current industrial relations

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Contemporary issues affecting workplace practice are analysed.
1.2 Key stakeholders affected by contemporary issues are


02. Analyse the main provision of current workplace legislation

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Key legal provisions of the workplace relations legislation are
2.2 Workplace issues and current industrial issues which influence
the workplace are examined.
2.3 A variety of workplace agreements relevant to the criminal
justice system are investigated.
2.4 An analysis is undertaken to identify the potential impact of
workplace legislation on different workplace areas, processes
and system of work and workplace agreements.
2.5 The relevancy of Awards in the agreement making process is
2.6 An analysis is undertaken to distinguish between Certified
Agreement and Australian Workplace Agreements.
2.7 The regulations and the law with regard to establishing formal
workplace agreements are determined.
2.8 The process of establishing Certified Agreements is examined.
2.9 The role of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission
(AIRC) in the process of establishing Certified Agreements is
2.10 The process of establishing Australian Workplace
Agreements is examined.
2.11 The role of the Employment Advocate in the process of
establishing Australian Workplace Agreements is determined.
2.12 A review is conducted to identify the differences and similarities
of both Certified Agreements and Australian Workplace


03. Investigate Federal and State awards covering workers in para-legal professions

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Relevant sections of workplace awards/agreements are
3.2 Key legal provisions of awards/agreements are identified.
3.3 The role and jurisdiction of the Industrial Relations Commission
is analysed.
3.4 The role of Trade Unions is examined


04. Investigate the legal right and obligations in the employment relationship

Performance Criteria:

4.1 State and Commonwealth Industrial relation legislations
covering conditions of employment are examined.
4.2 An analysis is conducted to distinguish between Common Law
and Contract Law in the employment relationship.


05. Analyse the legal provisions relating to the termination of employment

Performance Criteria:

5.1 The role of the AIRC in the termination of employment is
5.2 The legal responsibilities pertaining to continuity of employment
in the transmission (sale) of a business are examined.
5.3 The Workplace Relations Act 1996 in regard to termination of
contract is reviewed.
5.4 The grievance procedure and its relevance in the process of
termination of employment are analysed.


06. Examine the laws relating to anti-discrimination, equal opportunity and human rights in the workplace

Performance Criteria:

6.1 Federal and Victorian human rights and equal opportunity
legislation including the Equal Opportunity Act, 1995 (Vic) is
6.2 The various types of discrimination are identified.
6.3 The sexual harassment, victimisation and bullying sections of
the Equal Opportunity Act, 1995 (Vic) is reviewed.
6.4 The roles of the Victorian Civil & Administrative Appeal Tribunal
(VCAT) and the Human Rights & Equal Opportunity Commission
(HREOC) in dispute resolution are outlined.
6.5 A workplace policy is developed to minimise the impact of a
discrimination/harassment claim in the workplace.


07. Analyse the legislation relating to accident compensation and occupational health and safety in the workplace.

Performance Criteria:

7.1 The role of the Victorian WorkCover Authority is outlined.
7.2 The rights and responsibilities of employers and employees
under the OH&S Act and Accident Compensation legislation are
7.3 The penalties for breaches of the OH&S and Accident
Compensation Acts are identified.
7.4 Entitlement to compensation for employees is identified.
7.5 An audit of potential OH&S hazards in your workplace or
learning organisation is conducted.


08. Examine the implication of privacy law in the workplace.

Performance Criteria:

8.1 Provisions of the Privacy Act, 1988 (Cth) is examined
8.2 The types of private information regulated under the Act are
8.3 The rights of employers and employees in relation to e-mail and
surveillance are analysed.
8.4 The powers of the Federal Privacy Commissioner are identified
8.5 The provisions of the Victorian Information Privacy Act, 2000 are
8.6 A privacy policy document is developed for employees in a
Victorian workplace.

Learning Outcomes

See Elements.

Details of Learning Activities

Students may participate in a variety of teaching methods including: lectures, tutorials, class discussion, role-plays, seminar presentations, group/individual work on projects, audio-visual presentations, field excursions where applicable, on site visits, and interaction with individuals and groups within the criminal justice area.

Teaching Schedule

Week One: Introduction and Overview of Subject: What is Work and Why Do We Do It?

Week Two: Industrial Relations in Context: The Stakeholders

Week Three: The History of IR

Week Four: Employers’ Duties

Week Five: Enterprise Agreements and Business 101.

Week Six: Being Injured at Work

Week Seven: Being Treated Unfairly at Work

Week Eight: Leaving Work

Week Nine: Semester Break

Week Ten: Working in Justice Presentations

Week Eleven: Working in justice Presentations. (cont)

Week Twelve: Fair Work Australia

Week Thirteen: What Can Go Wrong at Work? Case Studies

Week Fourteen: Future trends in employment.

Week Fifteen: Privacy at Work

Week Sixteen: Homework review

Week Seventeen: Review

Week Eighteen: Exam

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

The following books are recommended:
Creighton, B. & Stewart, A. (2005). Labour Law. 4th ed. NSW: Federation Press*
Ehrenreich, B (2002). Nickel and Dimed. USA: Owl Books**
Fitzroy Legal Service. (2008). Law Handbook. Fitzroy, FLS **
Hodson, R. & Sullivan, T. (2008). The Social Organization of Work. USA: Thomson/Wadsworth (available RMIT book shop City campus)**
Sappey et al (2006). Industrial Relations in Australia: Work and Workplaces. NSW: Pearson
Scalmer, S. (2006). The Little History of Australian Unionism. Vic: Vulgar Press
* available from RMIT Business Bookshop Bourke St
**available from RMIT City Bookshop

The following websites may be helpful:

Alternative Learning Resources
The University Library provides extensive services, facilities and study space as well as comprehensive collections of books, periodicals and other course related materials, such as DVD’s, magazines, slides, films etc. Computer laboratories with access to a wide range of desktop publishing software are also available. The library also has an expanding virtual collection of electronic resources and networks, including product data, e-books, electronic journals and newspapers, web based tutorials, online reference and document delivery services etc., all of which are accessible on campus, and off campus 24 hours per day. More information on library resources and services can be found at: 

The Study and Learning Centre provides free learning and academic development advice to all RMIT students. For information on their services and support, please visit the website 

Overview of Assessment

Assessment will incorporate a variety of methods including: exams, class participation/presentations, research tasks and book reviews.

Assessment Tasks

There are 4 assessments in this subject, as follows:
1. Participation in Class Discussions and homework (25%).
2. Report on Working Conditions in Justice (20%).
3. Essay (30%).
4. Exam (25%).

Assessment Matrix

The assessment has been designed to cover all Learning Outcomes and will be graded in accordance with RMIT’s Mark Table 7 which is as follows:
HD 80-100
DI 70-79
CR 60-69
PA 50-59
NN 0-49

All written work must adhere to the following criteria:
1. Written reports, research projects or essays are to demonstrate an understanding of the concepts and familiarity with the prescribed or negotiated topics
2. It is expected that all submitted work will be well written, with clear and consistent grammar, expression and punctuation. It must be well structured and cogently address the issues raised in the chosen topic in a logical, ordered and organised manner
3. The concepts must be well defined and demonstrate a critical analysis of the chosen topic
4. Written submissions must demonstrate appropriate preparation, reading and research
5. In-text references must follow the APA style of referencing. In addition, you must provide a bibliography with correct and comprehensive details in relation to texts, articles, research reports and other sources that you have used
6. Double or 1.5 spacing and a font size of 10-12 must be used in font style Aerial or Times New Roman.

Other Information

Extensions will not be granted by teachers or Administrative staff.

In accordance with RMIT policy, students may apply for an extension where there have been unexpected or extenuating circumstances, e.g.
• Hospital admission, serious injury, severe asthma, severe anxiety or depression. This does not include minor illness such as a cold, period pain or hay fever.
• Loss or bereavement – e.g. death of a close family member, family/relationship breakdown.
• Hardship/trauma – e.g. victim of crime, sudden loss of income or employment, severe disruption to domestic arrangements.
Students must keep a copy of their assessment until the graded submission has been returned or marks have been posted.

All email communications will be sent to your RMIT student email address.

Applying for an Extension
Extension of time for assessment tasks may be granted where circumstances beyond your control prevent submission by the published due date. An application for extension of time must be lodged with your tutor or the course coordinator as early as possible, and no later than one working day before the due date for submission.
You can apply for extension using the University’s Extension Application Form – – or by emailing your course coordinator or tutor directly.
An extension of up to seven calendar days may be granted if good reason can be demonstrated. Include supporting evidence (such as medical certificates) with your application.
Extensions beyond seven calendar days cannot be granted by course coordinators, tutors or the School. To apply for an extension of time greater than seven calendar days you must lodge an application for Special Consideration.
Applying for Special Consideration
If you are seeking an extension of more than seven calendar days (from the original due date) you must lodge an Application for Special Consideration form, preferably prior to, but no later than two working days after the official due date. Late applications will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances. For information about Special Consideration and how to apply, see:
Penalties for Late Submission
If you have not been granted an extension or special consideration, late submission will be penalised as follows:
Assessment tasks submitted after the due date of submission shall receive a penalty of five per cent of the grades available for that assessment per day for each working day late.
No assessment task shall be accepted more than three weeks after the due date.
Assessment Appeals
If you believe your assessment result or final result is wrong please contact the course coordinator and provide the reason why you think your result is incorrect. Valid reasons for seeking a review of results include:
• You believe an error has occurred in the calculation of the grade; or,

• You believe the assessment did not comply with criteria published in the Course Guide; or,

• You believe the assessment did not comply with University Policies on Assessment (i.e. an error in process has occurred).

• Full details of the procedure (including appeals procedure) can be located at this RMIT site:
Academic Integrity
Academic integrity means honesty and responsibility in scholarship through respecting the work of others whilst having the freedom to build new insights, new knowledge and ideas. RMIT University upholds the values of academic integrity as fundamental to the scholarship undertaken by all members of its community. Whenever you refer to another person’s research or ideas (either by directly quoting or paraphrasing them) you must acknowledge your source.
If you are even in doubt about how to properly cite a reference, consult your lecturer or the academic integrity website:
The RMIT library provides tools to assist with your referencing
Plagiarism and Collusion
Plagiarism and collusion constitute extremely serious academic misconduct, and are forms of cheating. You are reminded that cheating, whether by fabrication, falsification of data, or plagiarism, is an offence subject to University disciplinary procedures. Plagiarism is the presentation of the work, idea or creation of another person as though it is your own. It is a form of cheating and is a very serious academic offence that may lead to expulsion from the University. Plagiarised material can be drawn from, and presented in, written, graphic and visual form, including electronic data, and oral presentations. Plagiarism occurs when the origin of the material used is not appropriately cited. Plagiarism is not acceptable.
Examples of plagiarism include:
• Copying sentences or paragraphs word-for-word from one or more sources, whether published or unpublished, which could include but is not limited to books, journals, reports, theses, websites, conference papers, course notes, etc. without proper citation;
• Closely paraphrasing sentences, paragraphs, ideas or themes without proper citation;
• Piecing together text from one or more sources and adding only linking sentences;
• Copying or submitting whole or parts of computer files without acknowledging their source;
• Copying designs or works of art and submitting them as your original work;
• Copying a whole or any part of another student’s work; and
• Submitting work as your own that someone else has done for you.
• Enabling Plagiarism: the act of assisting or allowing another person to plagiarise or to copy your own work is also an offence.
For further information, please see the RMIT Plagiarism Policy –;ID=sg4yfqzod48g1 – and the RMIT Student Discipline Statute and Regulations -;ID=11jgnnjgg70y
Plagiarism Software
The originality verification software Turnitin may be used in this course. For details, see:

Course Overview: Access Course Overview