This report presents interim findings from a longitudinal qualitative research project that examines the factors that lead to and result from award reliance in higher and professional award classification employment. The interim report provides in-depth qualitative analysis from the first phase of the project which included 30 award-reliant employees in higher award classification employment, including six in professional classifications.
The qualitative findings from the first phase of the project identify how employee knowledge and understanding of workplace relations issues can affect decisions to commence and remain in award-reliant employment. The findings also examine how employment decisions are framed by prior employment and wage-setting experiences, including the outcomes of over-award arrangements. Expectations for the quantum of wages and wage progression are examined in the interim findings across the range of personal circumstances, personal characteristics and the mobility of the research participants.
The findings also identify the employment conditions that are prioritised over wages and the circumstances under which this typically occurs. The experiences of wage negotiation are also highlighted in the interim findings with some insights into the circumstances that have supported and hindered access to over-award wage outcomes. The interim report documents the objectives for the second (and final) phase of the project to be undertaken in 2012. The consolidated findings from the longitudinal project will be published in 2013.