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Analysis and Comment (15)

Guilty of having a ‘Victorian’ work culture? Rui Vieira/PA Wire

How forecasting undermines the need for zero hour contracts

No company wants to be singled out for having “Victorian” work practices, as Sports Direct has been. Despite the poisonous reputation of zero hours contracts, employers continue to argue they need them…
Is anything less acceptable? LIVING WAGE

The living wage may cut poverty, but not by very much

In the UK, according to the Living Wage Foundation, some 1,000 firms have pledged to offer a living wage, including household names like RBS, ITV and SSE. Earlier this week the annual rate increase was…
Poverty is about more than just the living wage. Shutterstock

The living wage on its own won’t win the war on poverty

The living wage won’t eradicate poverty in the UK. It may seem churlish to make the point as Living Wage Week draws to a close, but it’s a point well worth making. Don’t get me wrong, the living wage campaign…
Prop 91 - just one of three ballot initiatives on marijuana decriminalization Steve Dipaola/Reuters

Ballot initiatives take the pulse of the nation

Editor’s note: There were 146 state-wide ballot measures up for consideration by voters in this week’s midterm elections, covering all manner of controversial issues – from abortion and guns to minimum…
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…
The Commission of Audit made much of the affordability of Australia’s core areas of social spending without any consideration of our social responsibilities. AAP/Tom Compagnoni

The Commission of Audit wants to rip up Australia’s social contract

The recommendations in the Commission of Audit’s report, which was released yesterday, would, if implemented, erode the fundamental building blocks of Australia’s social contract. The social contract…
Online labour marketplaces are capitalising on increased numbers of “casualised” workers. Victor1558/Flickr

Online labour marketplaces: job insecurity gone viral?

Some of the newest enterprises online are those which link workers to anyone who wants a job done. They’re not concerned with employment or jobs but with “tasks”. These are small, one-off, discrete portions…
Millions of workers struggle on the emerging periphery while those at the core enjoy the benefits of stability and skills. Shutterstock

Life on edge as new divide ignored

The Fair Work Commission’s recent wage review may have struck an increased pay deal for low-paid workers but its decision overlooks the growth of a worrying new divide in the Australian workforce. With…
Should we continue to increase the minimum wage, or are there more effective ways to protect low income earners? Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

What future for the minimum wage?

Shortly the Fair Work Commission will announce their decision on the minimum wage for 2013. This will be based on its own research and balancing the claims of employers, unions and others. The ACTU is…
ACTU secretary Dave Oliver has called on the government to increase the minimum wage to combat growing income inequality in Australia. AAP

Why the ACTU needs to hold the line on the minimum wage

The recent Four Corners documentary on poverty in the United States is a salutary reminder of why the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) needs to hold the line on minimum wages in relation to average…
President Obama has proposed raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9, reigniting the debate about the effect of a wage hike on unemployment. flickr\brianwallace

Obama’s pledge to raise the minimum wage is good policy

In his State of the Union address, US President Barack Obama reignited a perennial debate in his proposal to increase the minimum wage from its current level of $7.25 an hour to $9.00 an hour. Advocating…
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…

Research Briefs (1)