Ambiguous Law

The Right to Bargain for Job Security in Collective Agreements


This article argues that as a result of the lack of clarity on the dual questions of ‘permitted matters’ and ‘interests of employer and employees’, Fair Work Commission has been given very wide discretion in Workplace Determination cases to decide to retain or reject job security clauses. 

In a landmark Workplace Determination made after the enactment of Fair Work Act, the Qantas determination, FWC chose to reject job security clauses on merit grounds, despite paying lip service to the interests of employees’ job security. 

This article argues that the Qantas decision was a political decision by the FWC, given free rein by the lack of clarity in the legislation.


Author Biography

Elizabeth Shi, RMIT University


Graduate School of Business and Law

How to Cite
Shi, E. (2014) “Ambiguous Law: The Right to Bargain for Job Security in Collective Agreements”, Victoria University Law and Justice Journal. Melbourne, Australia, 4(1), pp. 89 - 101. doi: 10.15209/vulj.v4i1.45.