Human Resources Management Practice in Australia


People, whether found in public or private arrangements, are always unique assets. Organizations cannot imitate skills and capacity from other organizations because of the uniqueness of their human resources. Starting from the late nineteen seventies up to the late nineteen eighties there was a drastic and powerful increase in the labor market in Australia. This phenomenon led to challenges and lessons learned as regards the way things unfolded. The human resources management practices were therefore exposed to new lessons such as globalization, change in industrial-organizational practices, drastic changes of service rendering, need for proper skills, and manufacturing processes.

History of Human Resource Management Practice in Australian

In Australia, which is a country that has a relatively small size of population contributing toward the economic development of the country, in the early 20th century had the authorization of agencies to solve problems and make obligatory agreements that approved remunerations and work conditions. This scenario later underwent modification in the nineteen ninety-three which led to the introduction of the labor Relations Reform Act. This reformed state has led to the space for workers to bargain and made it promising for legal sanctions to be partaken (Nelson, 2003).

Later on, the 1996 Workplace Relations Act led to enhanced inhibition of the scope of the act. The resultant crumbling of means of pay fortitude led to considerable disintegration of pay outcomes. Legislation changes were later followed up by the disintegration of workers’ unions.

With respect to the above factors, it looks rational to be expecting that many Australian firms and companies conformed to calculative HRM practices. The factors above have led to refining the practices of human resources management by coming up with policies. The important areas of focus in these policies have been workers’ involvement in effecting change, greater beneficiaries orientation, and making sure that the skills of workers are proper to the fabrication of goods and services. Also of major concern has been the motivation of workers in order to make them more useful.

The modern concept of human resource management in Australia gets its origin from the concept of workers’ wellbeing. The large bringing into play of labor combined with the past machinery and working terms and conditions tended to produce the workplaces, which had become almost unrestrained. Consequently, modern human resources practice in Australia takes to adopt scientific management. This is the early form of human resource management, which encompasses the standards-setting by firm management, which need to have contact to information apprehended by employees on how to actualize on the productivity and carry out the work; this approach tends to have more to do with hiring the worker who best suits the job. In some cases, refresher training to get the worker to know and acquire new knowledge is taken seriously. Worker motivation and a good pay package are also brought by the management in order to reduce boredom and enhance productivity.

Today the cadre and practice of human resources management in Australia is well established and encompasses a good outline and procedure of how choice and staffing, training and development, remuneration and terms, work relations, workers welfare, and work-related health and safety (Maxwell, 2003).

In Australia the modernization of human resource, management practices have led to the following being considered or being realized; The betterment of the way people are handled at the workplace and how the people are utilized by organizations to achieve viability benefit, The people-centered human resources management practices have led to development of influential personnel management models, Modern practices were adopted since the traditional management styles failed to address wholesomely effective management of the workers and the management in the past had not been at the center stage of management activity, Failure of the industrial union led to the change of the way the practice was being manifested and stated to adopt emphasis on managing the individual issues at the workplace instead of doing collect management of people, and the overall betterment of technology, increase in learned skilled workers who knew what they expected, and the need of better working terms and conditions led to centralization of human resources management practices which is a modern approach of management (Robert, 2007).

Generally, the use and spread of modern human resource management in Australia seems to be widespread and relies often on one human resource manager to the other Professionals.

Australian employers use an averagely of one point three percent of inputs costs specifically on training. It is also a common thing in Australia to find human resource managers being active in all strategic decision-making of their organization.

Variation with the practice in the United States

In Australia unlike in the United States of America human resources management practices lay more emphasis on the regulation of people in organizations. This role is by escalating the countries legislation to controlling the working environment and the legislation lay emphasis on working affairs, prejudice, service rights, and wellbeing & safety. Government personnel departments are supposed to come up with policies, regulations, and procedures which are aimed at ensuring that managers operate within the set industrial and trade legislation when they are relating with their workers.

This phenomenon in Australia unlike in the United States has been viewed as the government personnel regulation mechanism to be organizations’ watchdogs. But research has recently shown that this approach has led to limited control of the way managers associate with their employees. Some cases have been recorded whereby the specialists from the government industrial regulation department have been seen to be inciting the workers to be against the working norm of management. This state of a vacuum in the role of the government personnel department has led to complaints among these government official that they were not being considered to be influential by the other members of the operating organizations and were sometimes left out in the strategy or decision making of organizations.

The United States human resources management practice tends to put emphasis on harmonization of human resource policies and practices having an attachment to remuneration and appraisal system and expansion of the monitoring and evaluation system in a calculative approach. Hence in the United States, the human resources management practice is rather unitary than people welfare-oriented approach (Jared, 2005).

How the Human resources practice affects work-life in Australia

In Australia, there is a general trend in organizational human resources management practice to retain workers by motivation and addressing the work and life balance. Most of the workers have testified that generally, the way Human resources practice affects work life is relatively positive despite some cases where lack of resources can be frustrating. Some workers believe that ethical conduct is promoted, but they say that they do not recognize efforts made by their organizations to make it happen. There is generally a lack of sufficient confidentiality pertaining to industrial welfare matters (Stanley, 2001).


Maxwell, T. (2003) Practice and Strategy in Human resource management, McGraw Hill: London.

Nelson, M. (2003) Cameron, N., Delivery of human resource practices, NDFAR: Sydney.

Jared, E. (2005) Overview of human resource management in the United States: international perspective, Policy Review, New York.

Stanley, H. (2001) Practice of Human resource management in The Modern World, Macmillan: London.

Robert, L. John, H. Jackson, (2007) Human Resources Management 12th edition, Thomson Learning Publisher: U.S.A.

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