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Creighton & Stewart’s Labour Law

6th edition

By Andrew StewartAnthony ForsythMark IrvingRichard Johnstone and Shae McCrystal

Published 28 July 2016
Publisher The Federation Press
ISBN 9781760020552

The latest edition of this leading text features a new and expanded team of authors, who explain and analyse Australia’s complex system of labour regulation.

The book has been substantially restructured and updated to cover the many statutory amendments introduced or proposed over the past five years, especially to the Fair Work legislation, but also on matters such as work health and safety.

A particular feature is the coverage of the Productivity Commission’s 2015 report on the workplace relations system, outlining both its assessment of the regulatory framework and recommendations for change. There is discussion too of other important inquiries and reviews, including the Fair Work Commission’s changes to the modern award system and the Heydon Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption. The new edition also outlines the policy proposals released during the 2016 election campaign and explores the potential for future reforms.

The new edition also makes extensive reference to new decisions by the courts and tribunals, on matters such as the distinction between employees and independent contractors, enterprise bargaining, trust and confidence in the employment relationship, the burden of proof in adverse action claims, and much more besides.

As always, the book is full of pointers to further reading, with a substantial bibliography and index connecting readers to the voluminous academic literature on the subject. A new chapter also explores some of the insights to be gained from various theoretical perspectives on the concept of ‘regulation’ in general, and labour regulation in particular.

Creighton & Stewart’s Labour Law continues to offer the most comprehensive and authoritative account of the subject for students and practitioners alike.


Table of Cases
Table of Statutes

Part 1 – General Concepts

Labour Law: A Regulatory Perspective 
The Evolution of Australian Labour Law 
International Standards and Australian Labour Law

Part 2 – Coverage and Institutions

The Constitutional Framework 
The Scope of the Federal System 
Institutions and Participants

Part 3 – Work Relationships

Categorising Work Relationships 
Creating an Employment Contract 
Special Types of Work

Part 4 – Employment Conditions

Sources of Employment Obligations 
The National Employment Standards 
Modern Awards 
Enterprise Agreements 
Working Time and Leave 
Performance and Control 
Work Health and Safety 
Enforcement of Employment Obligations 
Employment Discrimination and the General Protections 
Other Unfair Work Practices

Part 5 – Termination of Employment

Termination of Employment 
Remedies for Wrongful or Unfair Termination

Part 6 – Collective Bargaining and Industrial Action

Trade Unions and the Right to Organise 
Collective Bargaining under the Fair Work Act 
Industrial Action 
Protected Industrial Action 
Industrial Regulation in the Building and Construction Industry




John McDonald, Law Letter, Law Society of Tasmania, Autumn 2017
Andrew Stewart has been writing in the field of industrial law for many years … Included in [the] coverage is significant discussion arising from the Productivity Commission’s 2015 report on the workplace relations system. There is also commentary (some critical) on the development of new case law, and the underlying concepts. As in previous editions, an excellent history of the development of industrial law since federation is included. … it is clear that this text will continue to be the standard reference for industrial practitioners in this increasingly complex area of law. Read review...
Gavin Rebetzke, Hearsay, November, 77
The work is truly comprehensive and ranges from a discussion of historical and theoretical perspectives through to detailed treatment of all of the specific areas of employment and industrial law likely to be of interest to students and practitioners alike. It is a “go-to” text which can serve to assist practitioners to gain a level of understanding of a particular area of controversy in order to progress their own research. … Creighton & Stewart’s Labour Law deserves to endure for many more editions. Read review...
Queensland Law Reporter – 12 August 2016 – [2016] 31 QLR
Creighton & Stewart’s Labour Law has been the leading work in the field of Labour Law for more than a quarter of century. It is rightly seen as the “authoritative text” in the area as is evidenced by its frequent citation by Courts, Commissions and Tribunals. This edition still bears the name of Breen Creighton even though he has now stepped down as an author. That said his careful and meticulous scholarship will continue to influence the work well into the future. Despite a period of relative industrial calm over the past five years (when compared to the previous five), this work fills a much needed gap in the literature in this area, particularly as industrial relations law continues to develop at a rapid pace. This sixth edition is substantially different to the fifth with the authors engaging in some radical restructuring and updating to deal with the many legislative amendments which have taken place, in particular to the Fair Work legislation. As is appropriate given the pace of legislative change, the work also deals with the raft of proposed amendments which are likely to pass in the next year or so. The restructuring of the work involves both the division of some previous chapters as well as the amalgamation of others. A unique addition to this edition is the attention given to the Productivity Commission’s 2015 report on the workplace relations system. A good deal of considered discussion concerns the Commission’s assessment of the existing regulatory regime and its recommendations for future change. There are also useful discussions of the Heydon Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption and the changes to the award system introduced by the Fair Work Commission. As has been the case with earlier editions of this fine work, the authors make extensive reference to the myriad of new authorities emanating from the various tribunals and courts covering the many and varied topics within the scope of this area of law. Its bibliography is resplendent with many useful references to additional sources of research.... it is a necessity for anyone practicing in the area.
Workplace Express, August 2016
The sixth edition of Australia's IR bible, Labour Law, is now available.
 Authored by Andrew Stewart, Anthony Forsyth, Mark Irving, Richard Johnstone and Shae McCrystal, the 1248-page book is the first update since 2010. Among many recent developments in Australia's labour regulation system covered are the Productivity Commission’s 2015 report on workplace relations, the Fair Work Commission’s changes to the modern award system, the Heydon Royal Commission and policy proposals released during the 2016 election campaign.