Cultural Artefact: Industrial Relations Act 1988 (1988 - 1996)

8 November 1988
24 November 1996
Industrial relations and Law


An Act relating to the prevention and settlement of certain industrial disputes, and for other purposes.

Administered by federal departments:
Attorney-General's; Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

Superseded by the Workplace Relations Act 1996.


The objects of the Act were:

(a) to promote industrial harmony and co-operation among the parties involved in industrial relations in Australia;
(b) to provide a framework for the prevention and settlement of industrial disputes by conciliation and arbitration in a manner that minimises the disruptive effects of industrial disputes on the community;
(c) to ensure that, in the prevention and settlement of industrial disputes, proper regard is had to the interests of the parties immediately concerned and to the interests (including the economic interests) of the Australian community as a whole;
(d) to facilitate the prevention and prompt settlement of industrial disputes in a fair manner, and with the minimum of legal form and technicality;
(e) to provide for the observance and enforcement of agreements and awards made for the prevention or settlement of industrial disputes;
(f) to encourage the organisation of representative bodies of employers and employees and their registration under this Act;
(g) to encourage the democratic control of organisations, and the participation by their members in the affairs of organisations; and
(h) to encourage the efficient management of organisations.

Related entries


 1988 - 1996 Industrial Relations Act 1988
       1996 - 2009 Workplace Relations Act 1996
             2009 - Fair Work Act 2009

Related Organisations