Social Action Office
Industrial Relations

Please note: This site is no longer being updated as the Social Action Office is now closed. Please feel free to use any information that may be useful to you.


Refresh Industrial Relations

Click here for the SAO Refresh Australia! Campaign which includes a Briefing Note: Refresh Industrial Relations – Ensure balance in Work/Life Choices


Just Work

Since Pope Leo XIII’s landmark 1891 encyclical, Rerum Novarum, the Church has provided important principles, founded on a Gospel commitment to the dignity of workers, to guide Catholics in making judgments about what is morally sound with respect to workplace relations.

Pope John Paul’s 1981 encyclical, Laborem Exercens, reinforces the fundamental principles espoused by Leo XIII and developed and supported in encyclicals and statements issued by his successors including Pius XI, John XXIII and Paul VI. Benedict XVI has also made public statements supporting the dignity of workers in the same vein as his predecessors.

In 2005, the Australian Bishops emphasised the same principles of Catholic Social Teaching in a statement on the Federal Government’s WorkChoices legislation. They stressed the Government’s obligation to balance the drive for economic growth with the demands of social justice and the need to ensure that policies are fair and equitable to all. As Catholics engage in public debate on these issues, it is valuable for them to have a clear understanding of what the Church continues to stress as morally sound principles for relationships between employees and employers.

On 1 May 2007, the Social Action Office, in partnership with the Brisbane Archdiocesan Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, co-hosted a Forum on Just Work. Below are links to copies of two of the keynote addresses:


SAO Resources

Other Resources


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