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A key feature of casual employment is the lack of leave entitlements – including holiday pay. Craig Sunter (Thanx a Million !)

We’re all going on a summer holiday – well, some of us …

The idea of the “summer break” is part of the Australian psyche. But as you hurtle towards the holidays, with the thought of a well-earned rest sustaining you through the frenzy of end-of-year deadlines…
Was the Coalition too quick to take up Gerard Henderson’s IR club theme? Dan Himbrechts/AAP

The enduring myth of the industrial relations club

The Abbott government will soon ask the Productivity Commission to review the Fair Work system. In parallel with that review, we need a more sophisticated debate about our workplace relations framework…
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…
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…
The CFMEU says corruption within the building industry should be referred to the police for prosecution, but the government is looking to a revived ABCC. Julian Smith/AAP

Bikies, unions … and the ABCC? Spinning the policing of work

Recent investigations into the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) by the ABC and Fairfax have revealed relationships between rogue union officials, underworld figures and outlaw motorcycle…
Toyota is the ‘last man standing’ in Australian car manufacturing, but it needs to shift from an ‘us and them’ approach to industrial relations. Alan Porritt/AAP

Toyota needs a new approach to avoid the road to nowhere

The Productivity Commission will today release the preliminary report of its inquiry into Australian automotive manufacturing industries, ensuring the future of car manufacturing in Australia continues…
Nearly strike o'clock. Steve Parsons/PA

Both Boris and unions are wrong on tube strikes

London’s tube users face disruption in the New Year as the unions threaten strike action. Debate on the subject is as heated as ever, with both sides racing for the moral high ground. But, though London…
The Falkirk juggernaut rumbles on. David Cheskin/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Falkirk saga plays right into Cameron’s hands

After the controversies of the past few weeks, the coalition government has launched a review of trade union tactics, to be led by Bruce Carr QC. The issue of union activities and the relationship between…
Treasurer Joe Hockey admits the government’s ‘open for business’ promise must be followed up with action. Alan Porritt/AAP

Abbott’s ‘open for business’ honeymoon is over

From a three-and-a-half year high last month, business confidence data for October shows the post-election honeymoon is over, with business conditions continuing to underperform in non-mining sectors…
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…
Competitiveness and productivity are top priorities in Kevin Rudd’s economic policy agenda. AAP

Rudd’s economic blueprint is a timely election pitch to business

Yesterday, Kevin Rudd set about outlining the broad terrain of economic policy to be pursued in this his second stint as Prime Minister. In his speech to the Press Club, the PM highlighted seven core drivers…
While young women are rising through Australian media ranks, the old glass ceiling remains. Woman reporter image from www.shutterstock.com

Women overtake men in the media, but not in pay or power

Women now outnumber men in the Australian media, but they are typically younger, earn less and have less powerful positions than male colleagues. A new national survey shows women now make up 55.5% of…
Ignore the hype: the Coalition’s IR policy won’t boost productivity in Australia. Paul Miller/ AAP

Coalition’s productivity obsession makes for flawed IR policy

More than jobs, inflation, security or disputation, the Coalition’s just-released policy on industrial relations claims to be about productivity. The policy is replete with over 30 references to “productivity…
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…
Tony Abbott’s industrial relations policy launch attempts to neutralise Labor’s advantage and bed down fears of a resurgence of WorkChoices.

The end of the IR wars? Coalition moves to neutralise Labor

Industrial relations is the one area of public policy that traditionally marks a major fault line between the Coalition parties and Labor. It is also one area of policy where neither side finds it easy…

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