Employer and union responses to traumatic death at work: evidence from Australia
Quinlan, M and Matthews, L and Bohle, P and Fitzpatrick, S, Employer and union responses to traumatic death at work: evidence from Australia, New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations, 40, (3) pp. 1-23. ISSN 1179-2965 (2015) [Refereed Article]
Little is known about how employers and trade unions deal with work-related death, even in higher-risk industries. This study examines union and employer responses to work-related death. Drawing on interviews conducted with 48 representatives from the key organisations involved in workplace death in Australia, the aim was not only to determine how employers and unions see their respective roles, but also how other organisations (safety regulators, insurers, compensation authorities and family support/advocacy groups) perceive their activities. The findings identify critical institutional relationships and their implications for both industrial relations and victimís families. They show areas of agreement and disagreement between unions and employers. They also highlight the impact of changes to work arrangements and industrial relations, most notably the growth of self-employment/ subcontracting and declining union density, on the experience of families. The study also points to the support role provided by unions as another dimension of their contribution to social capital and how some recent initiatives were extending these activities.