Articles on Workplace relations

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We still know very little about the link between industrial relations and productivity. Flazingo Photos/Flickr

Workplace reform discussion could leave big questions hanging

The Productivity Commission’s five issues papers, released yesterday, are the latest step in the government’s inquiry into the link between industrial relations (IR) legislation and productivity. Despite…
The Productivity Commission has attempted to move beyond the WorkChoices rhetoric. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Workplace inquiry attempts to move beyond WorkChoices

The release of the Productivity Commission’s five issues papers on Australia’s workplace relations framework has already fanned inevitable claims from the federal opposition and unions that it will pave…
Australia’s agricultural sector stands to gain from recent Asian free trade deals, but where will it leave workers? Dan Peled/AAP

Free trade agreements driving labour market reform by stealth

The Coalition government has assured the Australian electorate it will not proceed with any major industrial relations reforms until it has secured a mandate to do so. But this has not stopped the government…
Forced to defend the broken promises embedded in its budget, the government has left people worried about hidden post-election agendas. Penny Bradfield/AAP

Australia’s trust emergency will stymie year of reform

Political and business leaders are touting the next 12 months as a make-or-break year for the country’s reform agenda - and Australia’s economy. A number of big changes will be proposed and debated. These…
In need of help. Eyescar/Shutterstock

The dangers of workaholism for you and your employer

The term “workaholism” has been around since the 1971 publication of Wayne Oates’ book Confessions of a Workaholic. But, despite increasing research into the idea, there is still no single concept of this…
Like it or not, working on a Sunday is not the same as working on a Tuesday. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Before you call for penalty rates to be cut, try working a few Sundays

Not for the first time this year, Workplace Minister Eric Abetz has been forced to calm the rumblings after another government minister weighed in on penalty rates, and why they should be cut. Changes…
Some are working but some have other business. Michiel2005

Tweets and cybersex: workplace web use is a minefield

Market research reports have indicated that many office employees in the UK spend at least one hour of their day at work on non-work activities. They are booking holidays, shopping online, posting messages…
Flexible work practices: for employees or employers? Tracey Nearmy/AAPImage

Workplace ‘flexibility’ on insecure ground

If you were to choose one buzzword that, despite its vagueness, has dominated industrial relations debate over three decades, it would be “flexibility”. It has emerged again in rhetoric surrounding Toyota’s…
Workers with skills and motivation perform at a higher level, regardless of workplace reform. Salle-Ann/Flickr

Workplace deregulation won’t boost productivity

Arguments for reform of workplace relations never go away. The central claim made by numerous commentators is that reform aimed at “freeing up” the labour market and workplaces is the key to improving…
Calls by AWU chief Paul Howes for a “grand compact” are fanciful, but he’s right we need to shift our thinking away from a focus on yet another round of IR reform. AAP

Howls of horror understandable, but Howes half right about IR reform

It is easy to see why media coverage of Paul Howes’ National Press Club address has focused on his claims that wage growth has been too high in some areas and that the adversarial industrial relations…
Thanks to social media sites like Facebook, the line between our personal and work lives is being blurred all the time. Andalib/Flickr

Facebook is work, you just don’t know it yet

Social media presents many challenges for the world of work. One is the potential for employees’ online comments when off-duty to become a fertile source of evidence for allegations of misconduct and grounds…
Feeling threatened drives team members to highlight their distinguishing attributes. Omar Gurnah/ Flickr

Team innovation and success: why we should fight at work

When your staff bicker and compete, your initial response should be to remind them they’re part of the same team and encourage them to be friendly, right? Not necessarily; we’re now realising that a level…
EasyJet boss Carolyn McCall is one of few women at the top of UK business. Steve Parsons/PA

The evidence is clear: firms do better with women on board

In the UK, women make up just just 17.3% of FTSE 100 companies’ board members. This puts the UK 5th in the world behind Norway, Sweden, Finland and France. Things are certainly improving: 44% of new appointments…
Wage bargaining conditions may well change under a coalition government. AAP

What do new disclosures reveal about Coalition IR policy?

Two unexpected disclosures have refocused attention on the Coalition industrial relations policy before the election. The first was further detail from workplace relations shadow minister Eric Abetz about…
Flying the flag for workers’ rights. Elliott Brown

Zero-hour contracts: the dark side of flexible labour markets

Whether it be young people selling sports shoes, or carers looking after the elderly, workers in the UK are increasingly being forced into zero-hour contracts. This hasn’t happened by accident: it is a…
The rollout of the NDIS will place considerable pressure on the disability workforce. But are 457 visas the answer? AAP

Reliance on 457 visas blunts the vision of the NDIS

With the legislation now through both houses of parliament, The National Disability Insurance Scheme, or DisabilityCare, is law, and will quickly become a defining feature of Australia’s social policy…

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