Australian industrial relations in 2020: COVID-19, crisis and opportunity

10 June 2021

This introduction to the Journal of Industrial Relations' 2020 Annual Review of Industrial Relations provides an overview of the six Annual Review articles, an international review and two practitioner reviews. The COVID-19 pandemic presented a crisis for the labour market, intensifying serious existing issues such as stagnant wage growth, the gender pay gap and employer non-compliance with minimum wage laws. The pandemic also presented an opportunity for the Australian government to direct its economic stimulus measures in a targeted manner that addressed these existing problems concurrently with the immediate pandemic-related issues. However, 2020 will be marked by this missed opportunity.