Sections

Services

Information

US United States

Fair Work Australia

Analysis and Comment (27)

The Commission of Audit’s minimum wage recommendation shows no understanding of issues facing the low paid. The Commission of Audit’s minimum wage recommendation shows no understanding of issues facing the low paid. 'No understanding anytime': artist: Richard Tipping, from the Signed Signs series, Brisbane Powerhouse, 2001.

Commission of Audit’s poverty traps for low wage earners

There was nothing in the Commission of Audit’s terms of reference inviting it to make recommendations on the minimum wage. The Commission was asked to produce a report on “government expenditure”. Yet…
Penalties for unlawful picketing will increase under a planned new ABCC. Penalties for unlawful picketing will increase under a planned new ABCC. David Crosling/AAP

Fair work or more productivity? Revived ABCC will deliver neither

The Abbott Government is this year preparing to revive the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) after it was renamed and stripped of many of its powers by the Gillard Government in 2012…
The coalition’s industrial relations policy is likely to disappoint small business. The coalition’s industrial relations policy is likely to disappoint small business. AAP

Tony’s timid IR strategy – not much there for small business

Tony Abbott’s industrial relations strategy has received a less than rapturous response from both business and trade unions. The Business Council of Australia and the Australian Industry Group have criticised…
Opposition leader Tony Abbott at the launch of his politically cautious industrial relations policy today in Sydney. Opposition leader Tony Abbott at the launch of his politically cautious industrial relations policy today in Sydney. AAP/Paul Miller

Abbott announces soft touch workplace policy

Unions' power would be curbed under an Abbott government, with more restrictions put on their right of entry to workplaces and a time limit imposed for concluding “greenfield agreements” for new projects…
Bill Shorten will announce appointments to the Fair Work Commission in an attempt to provide balance as well as legal expertise. Bill Shorten will announce appointments to the Fair Work Commission in an attempt to provide balance as well as legal expertise. AAP/Dave Hunt

Shorten recruits Law Council chief for Fair Work Commission

Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten is bringing private sector legal firepower into the Fair Work Commission, including appointing the President of the Law Council of Australia, Joe Catanzariti as…
Employment Minister Bill Shorten says the Fair Work Act review shows the regime doesn’t impact negatively on productivity. Employment Minister Bill Shorten says the Fair Work Act review shows the regime doesn’t impact negatively on productivity.

Fair Work Act, productivity and the balancing act between bosses and workers

Perceptions of widespread union militancy in Australia’s industrial relations environment is generally unfounded, according to the University of Melbourne’s Professor of Management, Peter Gahan. Recommendations…
Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten has ruled out making any sweeping changes to the Fair Work Act. Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten has ruled out making any sweeping changes to the Fair Work Act. AAP

Fair Work Act review: weighing up the evidence, the spin and the wedge

The post implementation review of the Fair Work Act, 2009, was released this afternoon. A three member panel – Professor Ron McCallum, Dr John Edwards and Michael Moore – produced the three hundred–odd…
Coming to grips with the causes of dropping productivity isn’t helped by misleading reporting. Coming to grips with the causes of dropping productivity isn’t helped by misleading reporting. Flickr

Let’s check the pulse of misleading reporting around productivity facts

“A third of workers waste quarter of their day” - Herald Sun. “Wasted work time costs billions a year” - The Age. Judging from these headlines, you would think Australian workers are chronic time wasters…
Industrial relations in Australia is captive to antagonistic histories. Industrial relations in Australia is captive to antagonistic histories.

Enough rope: Why allowing room to move could liberate the Fair Work Act

“The object of [the Fair Work] Act is to provide a balanced framework for cooperative and productive workplace relations that promotes national economic prosperity and social inclusion for all Australians…
Former Health Services Union head Craig Thomson represents a vital vote for the Gillard government. Former Health Services Union head Craig Thomson represents a vital vote for the Gillard government. AAP Image/Penny Bradfield

Health Services Union: why union members deserve better

The ACTU yesterday voted to suspend the Health Servives Union from affiliation until they can prove that issues of governance have been dealt with appropriately. Although it does seem to have been a slow…
Apprenticeships are an integral part of our workforce. Apprenticeships are an integral part of our workforce. AAP

It’s time to overhaul Australia’s apprenticeship scheme

The ACTU is escalating a push through its case with Fair Work Australia to improve the wages of apprentices, many of whom are paid below the poverty line. There is a case for this and it is long overdue…
Strong past productivity performance is not the best indicator of current performance. Strong past productivity performance is not the best indicator of current performance. AAP

Reform of Fair Work Act must start with a true picture of labour law and productivity

As the Commissioners of the Fair Work Act Review work their way through the mountain of submissions, one of the most critical aspects they will be called on to consider is the relationship between labour…
Interns should be more than just coffe-gophers … shouldn’t they? Interns should be more than just coffe-gophers … shouldn’t they? flickr/happydog

For love not money: interns and the modern workplace

Last week Reuters reported a former intern at Harper’s Bazaar is suing the magazine’s publisher, Hearst Corporation, saying her internship violated US labour laws because it was unpaid. The intern, who…
Australian Service Union branch secretary Sally McManus is showered in streamers after Fair Work Australia awarded community workers a landmark pay rise. Australian Service Union branch secretary Sally McManus is showered in streamers after Fair Work Australia awarded community workers a landmark pay rise. AAP

The reality of the gender wage gap

As long as people see the gender wage gap as normal, society has a problem. This view is illustrated in a comment by Jeremy Sammut on a Centre for Independent Studies email newsletter: “Forget that the…
International examples show that quicker access to arbitration could have avoided the drastic action taken by Qantas chief Alan Joyce. International examples show that quicker access to arbitration could have avoided the drastic action taken by Qantas chief Alan Joyce. AAP

Qantas case shows the need for interest arbitration

As the Qantas dispute moves into the arbitration phase in Fair Work Australia (FWA), it is timely to consider whether the tests for access to arbitration under the Fair Work Act need refining. Prompted…
Will arbitration by Fair Work Australia provide the outcome Qantas chief Alan Joyce wants? Not necessarily. Will arbitration by Fair Work Australia provide the outcome Qantas chief Alan Joyce wants? Not necessarily. AAP

The Qantas dispute: What next and a recap

Memo to the Qantas public relations team: if you mount a Twitter campaign calling for travellers' luxury flying experiences in the middle of an unresolved industrial dispute, be aware there might be a…
After 20 years of enterprise bargaining, are we seeing an unintended return to compulsory arbitration? After 20 years of enterprise bargaining, are we seeing an unintended return to compulsory arbitration? AAP

First Qantas, now nurses. Has the IR game changed?

With the threat of further industrial action at Qantas looming and Victorian nurses continuing with their rolling work bans, you could be forgiven for thinking that Australia has entered a new phase of…
In debate over the Qantas IR dispute, the truth of the Fair Work Act is the elephant in the room. In debate over the Qantas IR dispute, the truth of the Fair Work Act is the elephant in the room. AAP

Before calling for reform, let’s get our Fair Work facts straight

The drawn-out dispute between Qantas and unions that led to the airline’s entire fleet being grounded over the weekend has sparked calls for reform of Australia’s industrial relations laws. Business leaders…
Qantas flights are back in the air after Fair Work Australia ordered the termination of industrial action. Qantas flights are back in the air after Fair Work Australia ordered the termination of industrial action. AAP

Fair Work Australia decision reveals the flaw in Qantas' strategy

The Fair Work Australia (FWA) decision on the Qantas industrial dispute makes it clear the action by the three unions was not enough to trigger a decision by FWA to terminate the bargaining periods. A…
FWA used legislation enacted in 1993 to protect the economy from protracted industrial action. FWA used legislation enacted in 1993 to protect the economy from protracted industrial action. AAP

Why Fair Work Australia terminated the Qantas industrial action

Read the Fair Work Australia decision here Read Roy Green, Dean of UTS Business School: Planes set to fly again - but what now for Qantas? Read our previous coverage here The decision by Fair Work Australia…
Staff are due to be locked out by Qantas management at 8pm on Monday. Staff are due to be locked out by Qantas management at 8pm on Monday.

Qantas grounding: expert comment

The stakes are high for both the union movement and Qantas, as a Fairwork Australia hearing aimed at ending the industrial crisis which has grounded Qantas planes continues this evening. Qantas wants Fairwork…
Peter Reith votes in the Liberal Federal presidency election. Peter Reith votes in the Liberal Federal presidency election. AAP

Peter Reith, Tony Abbott and the industrial relations maze

“Julia Gillard’s retrograde changes to workplace relations law are slowly burning our economy and in time the voices of embattled business will be heard across the country.” – Peter Reith, The Age, June…
The Labor government has shied away from making substantial changes in industrial relations law. The Labor government has shied away from making substantial changes in industrial relations law. AAP/Patrick Hamilton

Fair work? It’s all about political spin in industrial relations

Peter Reith’s spectacular re-emergence into Australian politics has enlivened the so-called “IR” debate. His intervention has called forth a flood of commentary, from Tony Abbott (who now supports “practical…
Workers will see a percentage increase in their pay packet from today. Workers will see a percentage increase in their pay packet from today. AAP/Greg Wood

Explainer: What the new minimum wage really means for workers

Fair Work Australia’s annual wage determination takes effect today. Importantly, we’re set to see award wages rise not by a single dollar sum, as in the past, but by 3.4%. This goes someway to addressing…
FairWork Australia’s decision will allow young workers more flexibility. FairWork Australia’s decision will allow young workers more flexibility. AAP

The after-school job is the comeback kid

Fair Work Australia’s decision to relax the minimum shift requirement for school kids from three hours to 90 minutes has been praised by employer groups and criticised by unions, who fear low-paid teens…
Men are the economic winners from the current resources boom. Men are the economic winners from the current resources boom. flickr/robstephaustralia

The Boom: blokes are benefiting. What about women?

In a decision hailed as ground breaking Fair Work Australia has recently determined that gender is a key factor in women’s low pay. Essentially the argument is that workers in the female dominated community…
Gender is to blame for unfair pay, according to Fair Work Australia. Gender is to blame for unfair pay, according to Fair Work Australia. AAP

Fair Work Australia: jobs mostly done by women aren’t fairly paid

The full bench of Fair Work Australia ruled yesterday that gender is a major factor in the low pay of thousands of workers in the social care and community sector. There are around 150,000 largely female…

Research and News (1)