Employment Relations

Employment Relations

Employment Relations


This assessment task requires to read a number of short documents and then answer a range of questions. The topic under investigation is Boxing Day trading. Read the following sources which provide a range of stakeholder perspectives on the issue.

Harris, T. (2015) ‘Boxing Day trading restrictions lifted’, Convenience and Impulse Retailing, 11 November, http://c-store.com.au/2015/11/11/boxing-day-trading-restrictions-lifted/

Hatch, P. (2015) ‘Boxing Day sales will go online and won’t be on Boxing Day’, Sydney Morning Herald, 30 December, http://www.smh.com.au/business/retail/boxing-day-sales-will-go-online-and- wont-be-on-boxing-day-20151228-glvwi3.html

McPhee, A. and Smith, B. (2015) ‘The Debate: Should all shops be allowed to open on Boxing Day?’, Sydney Morning Herald, 21 October, http://www.smh.com.au/comment/the-debate-should-all-shops- be-allowed-to-open-on-boxing-day-20151021-gkezex.html

Moody, S. (2015) ‘Anger over major retailers’ Christmas trading hours bid’, Northern Star, 8 September, http://www.northernstar.com.au/news/Anger-over-major-retailers-Christmas-trading- hour/2765133/

Patty, A. and Nicholls, S. (2015) ‘Retail worker ‘disgusted’ that Boxing Day trading to go ahead’, Sydney Morning Herald, 12 November, http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/retail-worker-disgusted-that- boxing-day-trading-to-go-ahead-20151111-gkwjzj.html

After reading these documents, address the following questions:

  1. In no more than 150 words, provide a concise and objective summary of the key issues and the various stakeholder perspectives.
  2. What is the employer case for Boxing Day trading? Would all retailers support the relaxation of Boxing Day trading restrictions? Why/why not?
  3. Retailers can only use employees who ‘freely elect to work’ on Boxing Day. Why then is the union (SDA) concerned? Would all employees support the SDA’s opposition to the relaxation of Boxing Day trading restrictions? Why/why not?
  4. After weighing up all the evidence and arguments, do you agree with the relaxation of Boxing Day trading restrictions? Explain your position.

Aims and Objectives

This exercise is designed to start students thinking about the range of perspectives held by various stakeholders on employment relations issues. When it comes to debates about employment relations matters, there is no black and white, no right or wrong. Employment relations stakeholders often have different and sometimes competing views, and expected alliances can often shift depending on the issue. Students are encouraged to approach any employment relations matter objectively, recognise that there will be a number of perspectives on the issue, and critically evaluate all viewpoints before arriving at a conclusion.

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