Minimum wage

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The Howard-era WorkChoices redefined the terms around which the debate on workplace relations reform has been couched. AAP/Andrew Brownbill

Enterprise contracts echo ‘take it or leave it’ world of WorkChoices

Echoes of WorkChoices? The Coalition is keen to avoid any whiff of the failed policy, but some of the Productivity Commission's recommendations have a strong flavour of it.
The policy goal of seeking to ensure children benefit from increasing community living standards has been shattered. Image sourced from Shutterstock.com

Minimum wage up but households still falling behind

Despite consistent but slight rises in the minimum wage, successive governments have dropped the ball on providing adequate support to low income working families.
Can people who work weekends really choose not to? AAP/Robert McGrath

A day of rest: the costs of removing penalty rates

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott recently commented that if employees “don’t want to work on a weekend, fair enough, don’t work on a weekend … But if you do want to work on a weekend — and lots of…
Protestors have been rallying for a “living wage” across the country in recent years, including at this one last month in Washington. Reuters

It’s time we revived FDR’s ‘wages of a decent living’

A noxious combination of falling wages, income inequality at its highest since the 1920s and a growing low-wage sector has caused the ranks of the working poor to swell to more than 47 million. That’s…
How many Big Macs can you buy from one hour’s work? Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

The problem with a ‘living wage’

A recent internet meme making the rounds on Facebook compares minimum wages and the prices of Big Macs in the United States and Australia. The minimum wage is more than double in Australia (US$16 per hour…
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…

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