Articles on Workplace relations

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Workplace relations reform: it’s not as if we haven’t been here before. Alan Porritt/AAP

History of IR reviews shows re-run reform agenda is pure politics

When the federal government asked the Productivity Commission (PC) to conduct a review into certain aspects of workplace laws, it argued a “root and branch” inquiry was urgently needed. As everyone gears…
Choosing the Productivity Commission to review industrial relations could prove politically embarrassing for both Workplace Relations Minister Eric Abetz and Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Paul Miller/AAP

The PC review that could bring the government unstuck

Australia’s federal government has made a major political error, possibly terminal, in asking the Productivity Commission (PC) to inquire into industrial relations. Before the 2013 election, the strategy…
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…

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