Credit points


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HRMG200 Applied Human Resource Management


PERS302 Employment Relations

Teaching organisation

3 hours per week for twelve weeks or equivalent.

Unit rationale, description and aim

The effective management of employment relations is an important factor in achieving successful organisational outcomes. To be a skilled employment relations practitioner, students will need to understand theories, legal frameworks and contemporary approaches to managing the interactions between stakeholders in the employment relations system. In this unit, students will explore employment relations by engaging with fundamental responsibilities in the areas of human rights, labour, ethical practice and social responsibility. Students will apply their knowledge of employment relations to the causes and management of disputes, interpreting legal frameworks, advocacy and negotiation, wage and salary fixation strategies and the practical applications of policies and procedures in contemporary organisations. Students will develop skills in the analysis, design and implementation of solutions to employment relations problems. 

The aim of this unit is to enhance student knowledge of employment relations theory and practices and to develop their understanding of the processes and skills necessary to effectively design, implement and manage effective employment relations activities and processes. 

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Critically analyse the different theories, perspectives and debates on employment relations and the role of organisational and institutional stakeholders (GA4, GA5)

LO2 - Analyse the major legal frameworks that govern employment relations in Australia (GA5, GA8)

LO3 - Critically evaluate how employment relations impacts on the economic and social context nationally and globally (GA5, GA6)

LO4 - Develop employment relations strategies and practices that respects human rights, contribute to good working conditions and sustainable organisational outcomes by applying responsible problem solving skills (GA2, GA5)

LO5 - Apply effective written and oral communication skills in the context of employment relations (GA5, GA9).

Graduate attributes

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 


Topics will include:

  • introduction to employment relations
  • critical theoretical perspectives and values
  • the political, economic and social context of employment relations 
  • stakeholders in employment relations
  • working conditions and sustainable organisational outcomes
  • evaluating legal frameworks governing employment relationships 
  • dispute resolution and negotiation in the employment relationship
  • approaches to wage and salary fixation
  • applied employment relations practices and procedures
  • effective communication in the context of employment relations
  • emerging issues and trends in employment relations nationally and internationally

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit takes an active learning approach to guide students in the development of knowledge associated with employment relations. Students can explore the knowledge base underpinning employment relations in a series of on campus workshops. These workshops are designed to support students to actively participate in the development of this knowledge both individually and in groups. By participating in these workshops, students will systematically develop their understanding of the critical aspects of employment relations and how to design solutions to employment relations problems. This unit takes an experiential approach to support students in developing the skills required to effectively manage employment by sharing stories and insights and reflecting on experiences. This approach is designed to interest students who prefer to learn within a social environment and builds in expert support for skills development.

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to pass this unit, students are required to complete and submit three graded assessment tasks and achieve an aggregate mark of at least 50%. Marking will be in accordance with a rubric specifically developed to measure their level of achievement of the learning outcomes for each item of assessment. Students will also be awarded a final grade which signifies their overall achievement in the Unit. The assessment strategy for this Unit allows students to sequentially develop their knowledge and skills of employment relations and legal frameworks to the point where they can develop a responsible solution to resolve a contentious employment relations issue. To develop this level of capability, students will demonstrate their knowledge of employment relations in an essay, further develop their understanding by participating in a simulated workplace negotiation and then apply their knowledge and understanding to analyse a contentious employment relations case and provide a recommendation in the final assessment task.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Analytical essay: This assessment task requires students to produce a 1200-word essay in which they critically analyse and evaluate legal employment relations frameworks, theories and contexts. It requires students to reflect on employment relations situations through analysis of literature, readings and class discussions and make recommendations for improvement with strong justifications.

Submission Type: Individual

Assessment Method: Essay

Artefact: Written Essay


LO1, LO2

GA4, GA5, GA8

Simulated workplace negotiation: This assessment task consists of a 1000-word tutorial paper and a 10 minute peer presentation. Or 5 minutes video presentation Utilising their developed communication skills, It requires students are required to apply critical thinking skills to design and implement a negotiation process to responsibly resolve a workplace problem taking local and international perspectives into account.

Submission Type: Individual

Assessment Method: Tutorial Paper / Presentation

Artefact: Tutorial Paper / Presentation Notes


LO3, LO5

GA5, GA6, GA9

Case study analysis and recommendation: This assessment task, consists of an 1800-word case analysis. Students are required to apply and integrate the concepts, models and theories from this unit to develop and present a recommendation on an employment relations issue. It requires students to draw on their effective communication skills when considering employee relations issues, the common good and how to promote ethical behaviour in organisations.

Submission Type: Individual

Assessment Method: Case study

Artefact: Written paper


LO4, LO5

GA2, GA5, GA9

Representative texts and references

Abbott, K., Hearn MacKinnon, B., and Fallon, P., 2016. Understanding Employment Relations. Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Bingham, C., 2016. Employment Relations: Fairness and Trust in the Workplace. Sage.

Bray, M, Waring, P Cooper, R and MacNeil, J., 2017, Employment Relations: Theory and Practice, 4th edn, McGraw Hill, North Ryde.

Conway, E., Fu, N., Monks, K., Alfes, K. and Bailey, C., 2016. Demands or resources? The relationship between HR practices, employee engagement, and emotional exhaustion within a hybrid model of employment relations. Human Resource Management, 55(5), pp.901-917.

Hayter,S and Lee, CH. (eds). 2018. Industrial Relations in Emerging Economies: The Quest for Inclusive Development, Edward Elgar

Guest, D.E., 2016. Trust and the role of the psychological contract in contemporary employment relations. In Building trust and constructive conflict management in organizations (pp. 137-149). Springer International Publishing.

Fair Work Act 2009 and Regulations Amendments

McPhail, R Jerrard, M and Southcombe, A 2015, Employment Relations: An Integrated Approach, South Melbourne, Cengage Publishing.

Shaw, A., McPhail, R., and Ressia, S., 2018. Employment Relations, 2nd edition. South Melbourne, Cengage Publishing.

Stewart, A., 2018. Stewart’s Guide to Employment Law, 6th edn. Annandale, Federation Press


The Journal of Industrial Relations

Australian Bulletin of Labour

Labour and Industry

Economic and Industrial Democracy

Industrial Labor Review

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