Vol. 35 No. 4 2009

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Now showing 1 - 6 of 6
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    Hope Versus Experience: Career Ambition and the Labour Market Expectations of University Educated Women
    (National Institute of Labour Studies, 2009) Murray, J
    Studies that consider the position of women in the Australian labour market have consistently demonstrated evidence of unequal outcomes between men and women. A number of structural and behavioural explanations have been advanced for the continued existence of this gender inequality. This article contributes to the supply-side debate with a study of the labour market expectations of women. Questions about labour market expectations are pursued through the in-depth analysis of 29 interviews with women drawn from three purposively identified life situations: single undergraduates, single graduates and coupled parents. The findings demonstrate that undergraduate and graduate women in the sample expect to build and pursue successful careers, while also demonstrating an awareness of potential demand-side constraints to their participation in the labour market. The expectations of the undergraduate and graduate women accord with the lived experience of the mothers in the sample.
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    Paid Maternity and Paternity Leave and the Emergence of 'Equality Bargaining' in Australia: an Analysis of Enterprise Agreements, 2003-2007
    (National Institute of Labour Studies, 2009) Baird, M; Frino, B; Williamson, S
    Using current enterprise agreement data, this paper evaluates outcomes for paid maternity and paternity leave in Australia and considers the presence of 'equality bargaining' in Australia. We find that the incidence of paid maternity leave clauses in bargained agreements is higher than in previous years and is higher still than the incidence of paid paternity leave clauses, although neither is widespread. Further, we note the existence of a new bargaining norm for paid maternity leave of 14 weeks, distinct sectoral patterns in paid maternity and paternity leave clauses and the possible emergence of an equality bargaining agenda. On the eve of the introduction of a national leave paid parental leave scheme, the results presented in this paper provide a benchmark for future comparison and evaluation.
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    Gender Pay Equity Reform in Australia: What is the Way Forward?
    (National Institute of Labour Studies, 2009) Smith, Meg
    Pay equity reform in Australia has occurred in three stages. The first comprised the adoption of equal pay principles in 1969 and 1972. The second involved a legislative entitlement to equal remuneration, introduced in 1993 and retained by the Workplace Relations Act 1996. Despite the existence of such legislative provisions, they remain under-utilised. The third stage involved the development of new equal remuneration principles at a state level. These principles represented an advance for women employed in some spheres, as they elevated undervaluation, as opposed to discrimination, as a key litmus test in assessing claims for equal remuneration. The Work Choices amendments excluded specifically these initiatives while at the same time maintaining a nominal entitlement to equal remuneration. This pattern of gender pay equity reform has important consequences for the recasting of federal labour law, specifically if the available institutional measures are to enable aggregate and collective remedies.
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    Women, Work and Welfare in the Activation State: an Agenda for Australian Research
    (National Institute of Labour Studies, 2009) Cortis, N.; Meagher, G.
    Welfare-to-work programs are now enduring features of Australia's labour market and social policy landscape. Over two decades, both Labor and Liberal governments have progressively tightened the conditionality of income support, extending principles of mutual obligation to new groups of working age recipients. This article is concerned with legislation that came into effect in 2006 requiring sole parents who receive income support to enter the labour market when their youngest children reach school age. This policy has practical implications for the character and dynamic of the labour market, and for caregiving, family wellbeing and women's autonomy. After outlining recent Australian reforms, we examine how comparable overseas reforms have impacted on the independence and wellbeing of vulnerable, low income women; and use emerging themes to outline an agenda to guide the next phase of Australian welfare to work research.
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    Women at Work in Australia: Bargaining a Better Position?
    (National Institute of Labour Studies, 2009) van Wanrooy, B.
    The Australian industrial relations system has undergone significant upheaval in the last few decades, with a push towards decentralisation. Women have traditionally relied on centralised wage setting and other statutory arrangements to improve their chances of equitable outcomes. One factor to which the widening gender pay gap is attributed is the introduction of enterprise and individual agreements (van Gellecum 2008). Using the Australia at Work study, this paper explores women's experiences at work, focusing on their position in the labour market and their role in bargaining at the workplace. Women are more likely to be found in part-time, low-paid and low-qualified jobs, which limit their ability to negotiate better employment outcomes. Regardless of their position in the labour market, however, women tend to rely on award arrangements to determine their pay and conditions. Any policies that undermine these arrangements are likely to contribute to inequitable outcomes for women.
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    Women's Work - Current Issues and Future Agendas
    (National Institute of Labour Studies, 2009) Baird, M