Vol. 31 No. 3 2005
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ItemAustraliaʼs 1990s Productivity Surge: A Response to Keith Hancockʼs Challenge(National Institute of Labour Studies, 2005)N/A
ItemIndustry Representation, Structural Change and the Older Male Worker in Australia (1985 to 2005)(National Institute of Labour Studies, 2005)"Employment segregation and unfavourable changes to the industrial composition of employment are a possible reason for the long term decline in labour force participation of older males in Australia over recent decades. In this paper, I explore this proposition by analysing employment data for older males over the 1985 to 2005 period. Findings from segregation and shift-share analyses suggest that, although older males appear to be segregated by industry and generally over-represented in stagnant or declining industries, the net aggregate effects of structural change for older males’ employment trends are minimal."
Item"The Variable Impact of New Public Management and Budget Cuts on the Work Intensification of Nurses and Doctors in one Public Hospital in South Australia Between 1994 and 2000"(National Institute of Labour Studies, 2005)"This paper explores the impact of new public management and budget cuts on the work intensification of nurses and doctors in one Australia public hospital during the 1990s. These were the time-based incentives built into the Medicare Agreements of 1993-1998 and 1998-2003, and casemix Diagnosis Related Groups. These two ‘reforms’ were part of a broader micro-economic strategy underpinned by new public management processes employed by the state to increase the productivity of health professionals. The impact of these reforms on the labour of health professions was variable, however. Documentary evidence from a study conducted in a public acute hospital in South Australia, called ‘Westernvale’, illustrates that during the period 1994-2001, these reforms resulted in a longer period of work intensification, for the profession of nursing than that of medicine."
ItemThe Case For Unfair Dismissal Reform: A Review Of The Evidence(National Institute of Labour Studies, 2005)"Exemption of small business from the federal ‘unfair dismissal’ laws has been on the Coalition Government’s agenda since 1996 and with control of the Senate in July 2005 it is anticipated its reforms will be implemented in October. This paper examines the justififcation for such reform by analysing the Government’s evidence for its assertion that it inhibits job growth in the small business sector, detailing the incidence of ‘unfair dismissals’ generally and outlining what small business has said about ‘unfair dismissal’ legislation and processes by an examination of recent research on this issue. The paper also looks briefl y at the practical processes and the personal human drama associated with ‘unfair dismissal’. This is set in the national and international context of Australia’s ILO obligations. The paper concludes that the justification used by the Government is not sustained by the evidence and indeed suggests that there is some evidence that job growth resulting from the reform might be negative. Future research is required to monitor the effects of the reform."
ItemA Simple Plan for Reform? The Problem of Complexity in Workplace Regulation(National Institute of Labour Studies, 2005)"The Howard Government has claimed that its reform proposals will ‘streamline’ existing federal processes and eliminate the ‘complex, costly and ineffi cient’ overlap of State and federal laws. But while the Commonwealth may be able to use its constitutional power over corporations to expand the reach of federal regulation, without co-operation from the States it cannot create a ‘unitary’ or ‘national’ system, and even corporate employers are likely to remain subject to various forms of State regulation. Furthermore, the proposals seem unlikely to address more fundamental problems, such as the ‘layering’ of regulatory instruments and, in particular, the appalling complexity that has become a feature of federal legislation over the past 15 years. That complexity has made the Workplace Relations Act unintelligible to all but experts, not to mention creating cost and uncertainty for businesses, unions and workers alike."
ItemThe Coalition’s Proposed Industrial Relations Changes: an Interim Assessment(National Institute of Labour Studies, 2005)"The Prime Minister’s recent statement outlining the Coalition Government’s plans for industrial relations heralds a period of profound change in Australian labour regulation. Proposed alterations to the institutional landscape for regulation of wages and other minimum standards, including a diminishing of the role of the AIRC and further promotion of enterprise bargaining, represent a major regulatory shift and are likely to have a signifi cant impact on working conditions and trade unions, The exclusion of businesses with 100 employees or less from the federal unfair dismissal regime will mean that statutory regulation of termination of employment is substantially reduced. And the Prime Minister’s plan for a national industrial relations system is the most radical restructuring of federal labour regulation in almost a century. The changes, however, do not represent a wholesale replacement of the collective system with institutionalised individualism. Among other things, key institutions of the conciliation and arbitration system will remain in place, although it will be some time before we can fully assess the nature and likely impact of the Government’s policy."