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Industrial Relations Officer

Workplace relations officers manage employment conditions and related issues. Workplace relations officers aim to encourage employees and employers to work towards effective organisational practices. They may represent industrial, commercial, union, employer or other organisations in workplace and industrial negotiations.

Duties & Tasks
Workplace relations officers may perform the following tasks:
  • advise on the operation of industrial awards and agreements
  • undertake negotiations on rates of pay and conditions of employment for employees and employers through enterprise bargaining negotiations
  • represent employees or employers before workplace relations tribunals on matters such as enterprise bargaining agreements, disputes and termination of employment
  • develop and administer policies on different employee classifications, wage structures and related matters
  • establish and maintain good relationships between employers and employees
  • examine and attempt to resolve workplace disputes and grievances (by acting as the management representative in discussions with trade unions about the effects of technological change on the duties of employees in a manufacturing workshop, for example)
  • study and interpret relevant workplace relations legislation (the laws formulated by parliament to control industrial practices in the workplace)
  • advise others on the proper procedures for carrying out negotiations and on the special regulations relating to employment and salary agreements
  • conduct research into particular workplace relations issues (such as the effects of changes in work practices on productivity).
  • Working conditions
    The work of workplace relations officers varies according to where they are employed. Those working for organisations with a large workforce aim to minimise workplace disputes by acting as a communication link between management and employees. Those working for employer associations or trade unions aim to protect the interests of the group they are representing.
    Personal requirements
  • good communication skills
  • good conflict resolution and negotiation skills
  • willing to work within rules (legislative and legal).
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