Workplace Relations Fundamentals

Learn the Fundamentals of Workplace Relations with the Australian Higher Education Industrial

This program delivered virtually over two days introduces participants to the higher education industrial relations environment, including underlying legal concepts, the various industrial instruments, and the practical application of both.

The program focuses on what’s important for staff working at the ‘coalface’ of university workplace relations.

Topics covered

  • Employment Law
  • Employment Contracts
  • Policies and Procedures
  • Employment Legislation
  • Awards
  • Workplace Agreements
  • Termination of Employment


This program will assist you to:

  • Distinguish between employment and other forms of work arrangement
  • Know the sources of employment rights and obligations
  • Understand the requirements for the formation of a valid contract of employment
  • Distinguish between express and implied terms
  • Understand the circumstances in which a contract may be varied
  • Explain the relationship between the employment contract and other instruments
  • Understand the function of compliance policies and procedures
  • Identify the ways in which policies and procedures may minimise liability for employers
  • Outline the functions and powers of the institutions with responsibilities under the Fair Work Act 2009
  • Understand the relationship between the Fair Work Act 2009 and State and Territory Industrial laws
  • Understand the key features of the general protections and right-of-entry provisions
  • Understand Fair Work Commission Anti-Bullying jurisdiction
  • Explain the key features and importance of anti-discrimination, WHS, FOI, and privacy legislation
  • Define an Award and understand its status under the Fair Work Act 2009
  • Understand the key provisions of the higher education modern awards
  • Define an enterprise agreement and understand its status
  • Describe the process of enterprise bargaining
  • Identify the principal unions with coverage in the higher education sector
  • Understand what is meant by “good faith bargaining”
  • Understand the requirements under the Fair Work Act 2009 for approval of an enterprise agreement
  • Explain how an agreement can be varied or terminated
  • Understand the key concepts in relation to the taking of industrial action
  • Understand the ways in which the employment contract can terminate
  • Understand the termination provisions as specified in your university’s enterprise agreement and policies
  • Distinguish between the unfair dismissal and general protections jurisdictions of the Fair Work Act 2009
  • List the remedies available at common law for termination of employment


As with all AHEIA training programs, this workshop is designed to be interactive and uses a mix of facilitated discussion with practical small group activities and case studies designed to develop knowledge, skills, and confidence.


Who should attend

Workplace relations practitioners who are relatively new to the sector and/or new to a workplace relations role. Staff who would like to update and refresh their skills in industrial / workplace relations.


Would you like to become a Workplace Relations Specialist?

This workshop can be completed as part of our AHEIA Workplace Relations Specialist Accreditation.


Are you looking for other Industrial Relations workshops?

You may be interested in the following AHEIA training programs:

Australian Higher Education Industrial Association I AHEIA

Our dedicated team of industrial relations practitioners and education professionals is committed to sharing their experience and equipping you with current industry knowledge. To find out more about our team of qualified practitioners, with years of experience in the higher education sector, view our expert team.

“"Facilitator engaged with the group and used practical examples to help cement learning."”

“"Very useful and informative program that was very well facilitated."”

“"A productive 2 days. Refreshed my knowledge. Learned new information. The case studies were excellent."”