Vol. 29 No. 1 2003

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Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
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    Paid maternity leave: The good, the bad, the ugly
    (National Institute of Labour Studies, 2003) Baird, M
    "In Australia’s masculine wage-earner welfare state, paid maternity leave was an employment entitlement largely ignored by government, unions and employers. Consequently, Australia lags well behind the rest of the world in providing paid maternity leave for working women. On 11 December 2002 the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission (HREOC) released a proposal for a national paid maternity leave scheme for Australia. This paper argues that the HREOC proposal offers a ‘safety-net’ model that is compatible with the existing industrial relations framework. Implicit in this however, is an expectation that award arbitration, enterprise bargaining and managerial prerogative will continue to be used to augment these minimalist provisions. This paper therefore sets out to examine how paid maternity leave has fared as an arbitrated, bargained or company entitlement to date. The outcomes, it is concluded, have been very uneven, ranging from the good, through to the bad, and even the ugly."
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    Bargaining for welfare: Gender consequences of Australia's dual welfare model
    (National Institute of Labour Studies, 2003) Jefferson, Therese; Preston, Alison
    "The tradition in Australia of delivering welfare benefits through the industrial relations system rather than through social insurance schemes has important implications for coverage and adequacy of important forms of income protection and maintenance. Using data from a large-scale survey, this paper examines access to two forms of social benefit: paid maternity/paternity leave and retirement income in the form of occupational superannuation. Patterns of coverage indicate that those with limited bargaining power in the labour market are more likely to miss out on these benefits. These results indicate a necessity for maintaining the coverage and level of benefits available through publicly provided schemes such as the Aged Pension. The findings also support the current push for a nationally legislated, government funded, paid maternity leave scheme."
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    Employment entitlements and casual status: Lessons from two Queensland cases
    (National Institute of Labour Studies, 2003) Whitehouse, G; Rooney, T
    "Casual status is commonly understood to exclude the entitlements associated with ongoing employment relationships. In Australia, however, the definition of casual employment has never been precise, and a high proportion of ‘casual’ positions are, in effect, regular forms of employment. Recent strategies to improve working conditions have thus sought to move beyond the typical Australian approach of applying a pay loading to compensate (partially) for lack of entitlements, towards attempts to extend some of the benefits of permanent status to more regular forms of casual employment. In this paper we examine two recent cases in Queensland that exemplify these contrasting strategies, highlighting the essential conflict between them, and the way it is compounded by the imprecise delineation of casuals in the Australian system. We note that both strategies are limited by the industrial relations context in which they are situated, and that additional entitlements may not be readily accessible in practice."
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    Employment benefits in enterprise agreements: An overview
    (National Institute of Labour Studies, 2003) McGrath-Champ, S
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    Protection for employment entitlements: A legal perspective
    (National Institute of Labour Studies, 2003) Riley, J
    "Employees who have rendered faithful service, often trading off immediate pay increases for the promise of improved leave and redundancy benefits, do so trusting that the employer will honour those entitlements. As many recent corporate collapses have shown, that trust is often misplaced. This paper reviews the legal position of employee claims to entitlements. Although it offers a useful safety net, the General Employee Entitlements Redundancy Scheme (GEERS) does not provide full security. The author argues that employee associations could work to improve recovery of lost entitlements by using the legal tools employed by commercial lenders. In this way, employees could ensure that their entitlements are held ‘in trust’, in a legal sense."
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    Legislating for benefits - NSW 1941-1958
    (National Institute of Labour Studies, 2003) Patmore, G
    "This article examines the general legislation introduced by NSW Labor Governments for annual leave, sick leave and long service leave during the period from 1941 to 1958. The innovative legislation for annual leave and long service led the nation and other jurisdictions including the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Court/Commission followed NSW. The article explores the political and economic context of the legislation. There was a booming war and post-war economy and the Labor Party dominated state politics. The paper then analyses the arguments used to support the legislation, which included minimising labour turnover and improving workers’ health, and considers the flow-on effects. The article concludes by exploring the implications of this period for contemporary debates."
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    Employment entitlements: Development, access, flexibility and protection
    (National Institute of Labour Studies, 2003) Burgess, J; Baird, M
    "Employment entitlements are currently in the public policy domain largely due to the loss of entitlements associated with corporate failure and to the absence of a specific entitlement, paid maternity leave, in the Australian benefits system. This article overviews the range of entitlements available in Australia, the access to entitlements and discusses the conceptual and policy issues surrounding entitlements. In turn this article serves as an introduction for this collection of papers on employment entitlements in Australia."