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Employment Trends for 2011

09 Feb 2011

International employment trends and the effects of recent Australian workplace reforms on employees will be the focus of the 2011 Employment Relations Global Forum to be held on March 30 in Sydney.

Dr. Peter Auer from the International Institute for Labour Studies in Geneva will be one of several high profile international keynote speakers at the forum from Europe, USA and Asia which is co-sponsored by the Workplace Research Centre (WRC) at the University of Sydney Business School.

The Forum which will consist of a combination of presentations and panel discussions by leading international and local experts, will focus on recent trends in employment relations in the key economies of North America, Europe and Asia and their implications for Australia. The Forum will also provide an opportunity to review the effects of recent reforms in Australia in the context of the re-elected Gillard Labour government from a wide range of employer and union perspectives.

ACTU President Ged Kearney will present an address titled "Leading the global pack: the role of Australia's Fair Work laws in driving equity and growth."

Ms Kearney said: "Australia is leading the global pack when it comes to low unemployment, solid economic growth and a strong fiscal position. At the same time as the nation is recovering well from the global financial crisis, we have introduced new, fairer workplace laws. This shows that a strong and effective system of workers' rights with a robust safety net of minimum standards coupled with decentralised collective bargaining can drive both a more equitable society and sustainable growth in a modern, internationalised economy."

Ms Kearney will examine the implications of international developments for Australia and review the effects of recent industrial relations reforms of the Gillard Labour government along with other leading Australian specialists in employment relations from General Motors Holden, Qantas Airways, employers associations, and Australian Universities.

Other keynote speakers include:

  • Professor Thomas Kochan, Sloan School of Management at MIT in Cambridge, USA who has served as an adviser to Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama
  • Professor William Brown, Master of Darwin College and former Head of Economics at Cambridge University who has served on Britain's Minimum Wage Commission
  • Professor Janice Bellace, Wharton School of Management, University of Pennsylvania and President of the International Labour and Employment Relations Association.
  • Professor Mia Ronnmar, Faculty of Law at the University of Lund in Sweden who has recently published a book on Industrial Relations in the European Union.
  • Dr Chang-Hee Lee, Senior Adviser on Employment and Labour Relations issues for the ILO in China who formerly served as the Asian Regional Adviser in Bangkok.
  • Peter Anderson, Chief Executive, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Peter represents Australian business regionally and globally at international forums such as the OECD, the International Organisation of Employers and on the Governing Body of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Heather Ridout Chief Executive, Australian Industry Group. Heather is a representative on a number of national bodies including the National Workplace Relations Consultative Committee, Infrastructure Australia and Skills Australia.¿ She is also on the PM's business taskforce on flood recovery. She was a member of the Henry Tax Review.

The forum is open for registrations with a limited amount of tickets still available at the standard rate of $550. To book and for more information visit