Labour standards and practice

Australia at Work - Working Lives: Statistics and Stories 2008

Client:  ARC - Australian Research Council/ ACTU - Australian Council for Trade Unions/ Unions NSW CFMEU - Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union / CEPU - Communications, Electrical, Plumbing Union/ Police Federation of Australia/ NSW Nurses Association/ ANF - Australian Nursing Federation, Victoria/ SDA - Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association

This was the second report from the landmark Australia at Work Study, tracking over 5000 working Australians. Data collection immediately preceded two important developments: the onset of the global financial crisis and the introduction of the Labor Governments Forward with Fairness amendments. This report identified some significant challenges for industrial relations and social policy. These primarily concern:

  • The role of awards: Awards remain centrally important for most employees.
  • Hours of work: Both the length and intensity of working hours continue to be major problems for large segments of the workforce.
  • The scope and reach of labour standards: As the labour market evolves, so should our system of labour law. Living standards: now more than ever it is important that the broader policy mix supports decent wages and hours of work to improve living standards.

Report Available Online