This paper shows why trade unions and collective bargaining are good for workers and good for the economy. It shows how the decline of the union movement has contributed to a growing power imbalance in the economy and to soaring inequality.
This report argues that weak labour market conditions could be improved significantly through pro-active efforts by government to link public spending in all forms to improved job quality and compensation.
Australia is a global pacesetter in the creation of various forms of insecure employment, leaving only 60% of the workforce in standard, secure work, according to this report from the ACTU.
Australia has a detailed system of ‘awards’ that specify different minimum wages depending on the industry, location and skill of an employee. Using job-level data from a survey of firms, this paper examines the effect of award wage changes on wages, hours worked and the...
This article explores how New Zealand might adapt workplace relations laws to better protect vulnerable workers in the new, 'gig economy.'
Each year the Fair Work Commission is presented with submissions that are used to determine the minimum wage of millions of Australian workers. The submissions presented to the Fair Work Commission however, are largely based on vested interests with powerful unions and business advocacy groups...
This resource outlines how, across the national economy, work stoppages have become extremely rare – and the extraordinary discretionary ability of industrial authorities to restrict or prevent industrial action is an important reason why.
The arrival of Amazon in Australia may signal a change in how we navigate industrial relations and workers rights.
The complex system of occupation and industry-specific minimum wages has the potential to close the gender wage gap by ensuring equal minimum pay for equal jobs, but it also has the potential to widen it by discriminating against jobs more commonly held by women.
The informal work practices of the so-called “gig” economy are widening existing cracks in Australia’s system of labour regulations, and should be repaired through active measures to strengthen labour standards in digital businesses.
The Andrews Labor Government has introduced the Firefighters’ Presumptive Rights Compensation and Fire Services Legislation Amendment (Reform) Bill 2017 to among other things, restructure Victoria’s fire services.
This report argues that Australia faces a number of major demographic and technological challenges which require substantial reforms to our industrial relations framework.
Sally McManus, the new secretary of the ACTU, has copped a caning for asserting on ABC TV’s 7.30 that it is legitimate to break the law in some circumstances. The example she gave was of trade unionists laying down tools at an unsafe worksite, and...
NOTHING is more central to Labor’s view of what makes Australia such a great place to live in than our long tradition of having an independent umpire to stop employers exploiting workers. Former Liberal prime minister Sir Robert Menzies shared that view; like others in...
It is almost twelve months since the Productivity Commission completed its Inquiry Report into Workplace Relations.
The Government has yet to formally respond and given the nature of the topic, that is probably understandable.
We can all hope that the...
A former Emergency Services Minister in a Victorian Labor government is calling for a backflip on the controversial CFA/MFB dispute. Andre Haermeyer says the current government has given too much ground to the firefighters' union, and a new deal for paid firefighters risks public safety....
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...
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...
Penalty rates for working on weekends were an important 'sleeper' issue in the recent federal election. On the surface, both Labor and the Coalition agreed the future of penalty rates would be determined by the Fair Work Commission (FWC). But that superficial consensus couldn’t hide...