Industrial Relations (often called Workplace Relations) means what it says. It describes the relationship between employers and employees in the industrial settings which are the workplaces of Australia.
The issues which are raised in Industrial Relations are woven tightly into Australian history and Australian society. Are the issues of Industrial Relations important to our economy? Of course they are but it must not be forgotten that they have significant social impact as well.
Visitors to Australia are often struck by the passion with which Industrial Relations issues are debated in the public forum. This passion points strongly to our history. Trade unions, workers, bosses, courts and commentators have all contributed to the history of Industrial Relations in Australia. It is part of who we are as a nation.