Every industry and field has their fair share of myths and misconceptions, and industrial relations is no different . Some have a resemblance of truth, whilst others are propagated by those within to improve their perceived value to a prospective client.
In no particular order, here are seven of the most common myths surrounding industrial relations
You need to have a degree in Law or Human Resources to understand Industrial Relations
Whilst it may be beneficial to have studied a HR degree if you are working as a generalist that dabbles in IR. If Industrial Relations is going to be your focus, or you are wanting to understand it better for your own business, then a degree isn’t needed.
With the average HR or Law degree doing only a module/unit on Industrial Relations, you would be better off looking at the Fair Work Commission or Fair Work Ombudsman’s website for the answer to any questions that you may have.
You need to have legal representation to appear at the Fair Work Commission
This one couldn’t be any further from the truth. Whilst there are times where representation by a lawyer can be advantageous, a majority of the time you will be able to represent yourself
Everything has to involve a union
With only 18% of the workforce being a member of a union, chances are that you won’t have too much to do with one.
The Fair Work Act 2009 is anti-employer.
This one is pushed by the employer groups that have a vested interest in continuing that myth.
Whilst the legislation may not be perfect, the problems with it rest with those organisations for not learning how to use it to their advantage.
The Liberals and Nationals Will Solve The Nation’s Industrial Relations Problems.
Whilst there are some changes to the Fair Work Act, in the pipeline, it won’t change too much into what the employer groups want.
The other thing to remember is that whatever changes are made by this government can easily be undone by the next one.
The Average Small Business Owner Has No Chance Of Understanding Industrial Relations
This is a common myth put out by those who are trying to convince you to use their services.
As I mentioned earlier, a majority of the time you will be able to respond to matters yourself, without representation.
The Fair Work Act Makes It Impossible To Fire Someone.
Once again, this myth is put out there by those who want to hoodwink you into believing the, and getting behind their campaign to have the legislation changed.
What the Act has done is ensured that there is a genuine reason for dismissing someone, and not based on a whim of the employer.
[GARD]Hopefully, now that those myths have been dispelled you will start to see that industrial relations isn’t some scary or intimidating thing that only a select few understand