Vol. 38 No. 4 2012
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ItemDoes Industrial Relations Policy Affect Productivity?(National Institute of Labour Studies, 2012)"This article considers the link between productivity, fairness, and industrial relations (IR) policy at workplace, national, and international levels using data from micro- and macro-level empirical studies as well as data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the OECD, and other sources. There is some evidence that policies that enhance fairness enhance economic performance. But the effects are conditional, they are neither consistent nor universal. Government policies to encourage or discourage unions, to restrict the extent or scope of collective bargaining or related action, or to encourage or discourage non-unionism or individual contracting, will not do a great deal in net terms to improve economic performance. However, in any specific workplace, industrial relations and the decisions management makes can have a notable effect on productivity. While welfare and industrial relations systems do not make a large inherent difference to economic efficiency, they make a very large difference to social outcomes."
ItemMultiple Job Holders in Australia: Motives and Personal Impact(National Institute of Labour Studies, 2012)"Multiple job holding, also called moonlighting or secondary job holding, is an important topic for research and policy, both in Australia and in several other industrialised societies. Official labour force statistics in Australia suggest that the number of multiple job holders is significant, amounting to around 6 percent of all employed persons in 2007. But beyond basic data—which map the extent of the phenomenon and provide a broad profile of multiple job holders—surprisingly little is known about the topic. Commentators remain divided on basic issues of interpretation and assessment. Is multiple job holding a plight or a pleasure? Is it a malign or benign feature of contemporary labour markets? This article uses qualitative data from interviews with a small sample of multiple job holders in Australia in order to explore motives and personal impact. It reveals the complex mix of pressures and enticements that can influence an employee’s decision to work in two or more paid jobs"
ItemGender and Employment-structure Patterns in Australia’s Retail Workforce: An Intra-industry Analysis(National Institute of Labour Studies, 2012)"Challenging conditions in Australian retail pose a threat to its retail workforce and are expected to change the retail employment landscape. This prompts a need to develop a contemporary knowledge of the retail workforce, which has a higher incidence of insecure employment than the general workforce. This study investigates gender and employment-structure patterns between different sectors within the retail industry by analysing the variables of employment status and gender between 40 Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANSIC) retail categories (for example groceries, clothing, automobiles, hardware, restaurants), using data from the ‘Australia at Work’ survey. The results show that while overall women dominate employment in the retail sector, retail employment among women tends to be part-time and lower-skilled, while men tend to be in more physical, skilled, prestigious, and full-time positions. Societal gender expectations such as the breadwinner role for men and child caring for women are also identified."
ItemNegative Events, Positive Outcomes: Improving Labour Force Outcomes via Tertiary Study for Individuals with Disability and Chronic Illness(National Institute of Labour Studies, 2012)"The economic appraisal often displayed by organisations in the assessment of their staff, at times crosses ethical and legal boundaries and evaluates personal characteristics of workers which are not relevant to their work— such as a disability. Workers report problems in the workplace which have led them to decide to complete a tertiary degree in order to improve their skills and increase their labour market power. They hope this might result in labour market outcomes such as improved job satisfaction, job security, job quality, career opportunities and increased access to flexibility to allow for their circumstances of disability. The decision process undertaken by workers with disability can be a fraught one and might require considerable motivation and commitment to follow through to the end. The students in this project are committed participants who followed this course of action to achieve improved labour market outcomes."