Contract of EmploymentIntroductionIn this assignment, a research proposal will be formulated to determine how contract of employment is an enabling factor that provides power and authority to the labor laws in Australia. There will also be an analysis on how the contract of employment is truly the cornerstone to the edifice of labor law as stipulated by Sir Otto Kahn-Freund. The research question on whether modern legal environment still views contract of employment as ‘cornerstone of the edifice of labor law’ will be further explored by reviewing the modern definition of contract of employment, the responsibilities that it has on the modern legal environment and the obligations it sets to the parties involved. The Contract of Employment DevelopmentThe economic structure of the world has significantly changed over the past sixty years. Most organisations have committed themselves to the constant process of change with the large organisational structures adopted in earlier industries disintegrating and smaller organisational structures integrated. Both these changes in the modern world are aimed at increasing effectiveness and efficiency in operations. Division of labor and specialisation are practices being incorporated in the modern legal world. In Australia, competition has led to many businesses and companies to participate in the borderless international market. The change in the business structure has brought significant implications on the welfare of employees and the laws that protect them. In the past, trade unions were the sole protectors of employees’ welfare. The trade unions were tasked with ensuring that employees got justifiable pay for work rendered.
The large number of employees contracted in earlier industries provided the trade unions with the power and authority needed to protect employees. In most situations trade unions had the capability of dictating salaries paid out to employees. The trade unions had the ability to boycott unacceptable working conditions in the workplace and carry out large scale strikes that had the capability to halt operations in industries. In the modern legal environment, despite the proliferation of awards, industrial agreements and industrial legislation in Australia, the contract of employment remains the primary source of the respective rights and obligations of the employer and the employee (Wolters Kluwer, 2016). The contract of employment was aimed at protecting the welfare of each individual employee within an organisation. Due to the existence of awards, it was not unusual for employment contracts to be informal. An example of this, is when a letter of offer is issued and an employee turn up to work, even though the employee might not have signed a contract, it can be implied and the courts might accept thatthe employee accepted the offer of employment based on the employee’s conduct.