Industrial Relations

Industrial relations deals with workers, employers and the employment relationship. This includes matters around conditions of employment; entitlements; rights and responsibilities of employers and employees; and workplace issues in specific industries.

Employers and employees have certain obligations or duties to each other under common law, statutes and their accompanying regulations. As NSW Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations, Adam Searle contributes to development of these statutes and regulations and raises matters of such importance in the NSW Parliament.

“We believe access to employment based on fair conditions is the key to creating a modern prosperous society. The Labor legacy is a fair go for all at work. This is characterised by a strong safety net of minimum conditions and the right to collective bargaining at work. Workplaces should be safe and all workers deserve the right to be represented by a union in their workplace.” – NSW Labor policy

NSW Industrial Relations (NSW IR) works with employers and employees to achieve fair, equitable and productive workplaces. It supports the NSW Government as a participant in the national workplace relations system, by monitoring and advising on workplace relations developments and initiatives.

NSW IR ensures compliance with the new NSW Guidelines for infrastructure procurement, as well as administering state laws regulating shop trading hours, public holidays and long service leave.

NSW IR conducts compliance activities across the State in order to educate the community about New South Wales industrial relations laws as well as educating employers and employees on the Fair Work system. These compliance activities are proving to be an effective and efficient way to assist large numbers of NSW employers and employees to understand their employment rights and obligations.

For government services related to industrial relations, visit


The NSW Industrial Relations Commission (NSW IRC) is the court which hears matters relating to the workplace. The role of the Commission is to regulate workplace affa​irs in NSW.

The Commission conciliates and arbitrates to resolve industrial disputes, sets conditions of employment and fixes wages and salaries by making industrial awards, approves enterprise agreements and decides claims of unfair dismissal.​​

Visit for more information on the Commission.