Labour standards and practice

Australia at Work: the Benchmark Report 2008

Client:  ARC - Australian Research Council/ ACTU - Australian Council for Trade Unions/ Unions NSW / various other unions [smaller funders, add if possible] 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 first report from the landmark Australia at Work Study, a longitudinal survey of the experiences of over 5000 Australian workers. The study reveals that contemporary Australian working life is not a clear case of good or bad developments. Our main conclusions include:

  • The inequality of bargaining power in the labour market is not uniform among employees
  • Individual and collective arrangements often co-exist and are better seen as complementary rather than rival industrial arrangements.
  • While many employees report they are generally satisfied with working life, it is clear that underlying frustrations remain, particularly with regard to issues around workload or work intensity and working hours.

Report Available Online