Employee rights


5 Dec 2017

Amazon’s entry to Australia signals a wider and worrying trend in worker relations. The company’s model, resting on heavy automation, means fewer low and middle skill jobs.

Like other multinational companies that enter the Australian marketplace, Amazon will have different...

Research report

21 Nov 2017

The National Temporary Migrant Work Survey is the most comprehensive study of wage theft and working conditions among international students, backpackers and other temporary migrants in Australia. The survey draws on responses from 4,322 temporary migrants across 107 nationalities of every region in the world,...

Research report

2 May 2017

The Superannuation Guarantee (SG) system—in conjunction with voluntary superannuation contributions and a means-tested, government-funded age pension—forms an integral part of Australia's retirement income policy.

As such, the committee is deeply concerned by recent analysis by Industry Super Australia that indicates that employers failed to...

Briefing paper

23 Mar 2017

Government and business leaders have proposed a range of possible “transition” mechanisms to ease the economic hardship, and defuse political anger, following the Fair Work Commission’s decision to cut penalty rates for work on Sundays and public holidays in the retail and hospitality industries. This...

Research report

3 Mar 2017

There have been a number of alleged cases of labour exploitation involving temporary migrant workers in Australia since the late 1990s. The Australian construction industry was identified as particularly problematic, with allegations of deception in relation to work contracts, lack of compliance with employment standards,...

Blog post

15 Dec 2016

Holidays are important. We dream about them. We plan them. We take them on our own, with family, and with friends. Paid holidays are among the greatest social achievements of workers, reformers and the labour movement. Paid annual leave democratises the holiday and allows millions...

Research report

15 Nov 2016

Employment is widely recognised as the most vital step for successful settlement in a new country. However, recently arrived migrant and refugee workers face many barriers. Finding employment is difficult. For those who do find work, exploitation is widespread. Exploited workers are not aware of...

Research report

4 Oct 2016

The Unions NSW report provides a case study of Airtasker, looking specifically at the industrial implications for workers. Airtasker is the leading provider of online facilitated task-based work, and is representative of the industrial risks associated with the disintegration of traditional jobs into short term...

Research report

12 Sep 2016

Workers compensation has a fraught history in most jurisdictions and Victoria is no exception. It is socially responsible to provide for a universal system of insurance covering work related injury to recognise the value of workers and the risks of work, and economically responsible both...

Audio interview

5 Sep 2016

A former union official, Grace Collier, has called for greater scrutiny of 'deals' between unions and employers, which leave some workers worse off. Recently the Coles group had an enterprise agreement struck out because it disadvantaged some workers.

Collier, now a private consultant, says...

Research report

14 Jul 2016


This special report provides early information on changes to the tax rules affecting the collection of tax on benefits an employee receives from an employee share scheme. Benefits provided to an employee under a share purchase agreement are “employment income” for income...

Working paper

10 Jun 2016

Despite some success in recruiting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to the Australian Public Service (APS), the long-term trend is one of declining representation. A fundamental issue is that rates of separation among Indigenous public servants remain consistently greater than those of their non-Indigenous...

Audio program

1 Jun 2016

An industrial fight between retail workers and their union is escalating. The Fair Work Commission has ruled that a workplace agreement, struck between a union and Coles, means some workers are worse-off than if they were under the award wage. Now, a worker from Woolworths...


27 May 2016

Vulnerable workers need to be protected. Existing laws need to be strengthened. The recent exploitation of vulnerable workers by 7-Eleven, for example, demonstrates that more needs to be done to protect vulnerable workers.

The 7-Eleven scandal revealed not only a systemic underpayment of workers,...


19 May 2016

ALP 2016 election campaign policy on protecting penalty rates for Australian workers.

Labor understands that penalty rates are not a luxury; they are what pays the bills and puts food on the table for the 4.5 million Australians that rely on them.



19 May 2016

In 2015 we saw too many instances of workers’ rights trampled, not just by fly-by-night operations, but by household names.

Employers who deliberately underpay their workers not only deny working and middle class Australians a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work, they...


12 May 2016

Barely eight days after it was announced, the Turnbull Government’s internship plan is in tatters, with employment law experts questioning the legality of its Youth Jobs PaTH program under the current legislative framework – potentially blowing a $478 million black hole in the budget....


13 Apr 2016

The Australian Government provides financial assistance to cover certain unpaid employment entitlements to eligible employees who lose their job due to the liquidation or bankruptcy of their employer. This help is available through the Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG).

Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG) is a...

Research report

8 Apr 2016

In June 2014 the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) commenced an Inquiry into allegations that significant underpayment of wages and falsification of employment records were occurring across much of the franchisee network of Australia’s leading convenience retailer, 7-Eleven Australia Pty Ltd (7-Eleven) [ACN 005 299 427]....

Journal article

9 Jul 2015

Fraudulent phoenix activity and sham contracting are well-recognised issues in the context of protecting employees’ remuneration entitlements, both during the life of a company and after it has collapsed through insolvency. To date, much of the emphasis in dealing with these problems has been on...