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Australian Workplace Relations Report

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Introduction

Department of Economics Business Studies and Commerce Year 11 Economics Assessment Point 2 Research Task Term 2 2007 Computer Number.........38942..................... Contents Introduction Key Characteristics Impact on the Economy Recent Changes Conclusion Bibliography Appendix A Newspaper article Appendix B Magazine/Journal Article Appendix C Australian Government Website Material Appendix D Non-government Website Material Appendix E Book Excerpt Introduction The issue of workplace relations plays an important part in Australia's Economy. They include the issues of employer-employee relations. Under the industrial relations system, laws, institutions and processes are established to manage workplace relations. They focus on determining the process of setting wage levels and resolving conflicts in the labour market. This report will show the key characteristics, impacts and recent changes of Workplace Relations. Key Characteristics Labour is one of the four factors of production. To achieve the most efficient level of production that is also internationally competitive, Australian needs a skilled labour force that is adaptable to change and redeployment across a range of jobs. The skills of a labour force depend on education and training. Redeployment depends not only on the continuation of the education and training, but also on the efficiency of the wage determination system. According to John Bulmer (Appendix B), "Australia needs a labour market that is responsive to changing economic conditions...a work force whose skills are more adaptable. If these conditions are not met, then changing economic conditions will result in rising levels of unemployment."1 Wage setting is an important part of Workplace relations. Under industrial relations there are three ways to set the wage level of an employee. There is the award, which is the minimal employment standards that employers must ahead to due to the Fair Pay and Conditions Standard. The Collective Enterprise agreement is common in Australia as the agreements are negotiated between the employers and a group of employees. The individual contract is negotiated between employer and employee and come in the form of Common-law Contracts and Australian Workplace Agreements. ...read more.

Middle

Work Choices seems to have a positive affect on the Australian Economy, as both inflation and unemployment have been decreasing. Along with the increased productivity (all seen in Appendix C) it is safe to say that the Howard Government are introducing industrial relation laws that will benefit the economy and households in the long-term, though there is a sacrifice of benefits in the short term. Bibliography * Bulmer, J. (2007). Update Economics B. Nahroonga NSW:Bulmer Chapman & Co Pty Ltd * Dixon, T. O'Mahony, J. (2006). The Market Economy. Port Melbourne, Vicotoria: Leading Edge Education * McConnel, J. Nailon, K. Johnston, C. (1996). Economic Activity Book 2. South Melbourne: VCTA Publishing. * Skulley, M. Rollins, A. (2007). Union Wage Claims Threat to Employers. Australian Financial Review. 30th March, pg 18 * http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs%40.nsf/mf/6202.0 * http://www.fairpay.gov.au/fairpay/About/ * http://www.rba.gov.au/ChartPack/graphical_summary.pdf * http://www.tresscox.com.au/resources/resource.asp?id=110 Appendix A Skulley, M. Rollins, A. (2007). Union Wage Claims Threat to Employers. Australian Financial Review. 30th March, pg 18 Appendix B Bulmer, J. (2007). Update Economics B. Nahroonga NSW:Bulmer Chapman & Co Pty Ltd Appendix C http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs%40.nsf/mf/6202.0 APRIL KEY FIGURES Mar 2007 Apr 2007 Mar 07 to Apr 07 Apr 06 to Apr 07 Trend Employed persons ('000) 10 379.2 10 397.8 18.5 2.8 % Unemployed persons ('000) 490.4 488.4 -2.0 -8.9 % Unemployment rate (%) 4.5 4.5 0.0 pts -0.5 pts Participation rate (%) 64.9 64.9 0.0 pts 0.3 pts Seasonally Adjusted Employed persons ('000) 10 367.0 10 416.6 49.6 3.1 % Unemployed persons ('000) 488.3 482.7 -5.6 -10.8 % Unemployment rate (%) 4.5 4.4* -0.1 pts -0.7 pts Participation rate (%) 64.8 64.9 0.2 pts 0.4 pts *This is the figure used at footnote 8 http://www.fairpay.gov.au/fairpay/About/ * Here is the website. Only a small amount was used, but this is the full summary for your connivance About the Commission The Australian Fair Pay Commission is an independent, statutory body responsible for setting and adjusting Federal Minimum Wages to promote the economic prosperity of the people of Australia. ...read more.

Conclusion

An "Award Review Taskforce" will be appointed to further simplify Award content and minimise the number of Awards. Recommendations will be submitted to the Minister for implementation by the AIRC. Whilst the FPC classification structures will replace those already in Awards, Award conditions above those in the FPS (i.e annual leave loading or enhanced notice of termination entitlements) will be preserved and included in any rationalised Awards ("preserved entitlements"). ROLE OF THE AIRC The role of the AIRC will be dramatically reduced. For example: * the wage fixation powers of the AIRC will be transferred to the FPC (as outlined above); and * the compulsory dispute resolving functions of the AIRC will be stripped back, allowing mostly voluntary dispute resolution. A new dispute clause will be included in all Awards and Agreements to facilitate this. Although the AIRC will continue to have powers to settle industrial action: * the AIRC must determine applications to stop Industrial Action within 48 hours; * Courts can make injunctions and hear claims against Unions regarding industrial action without AIRC involvement; * Protected Action can only occur where a secret ballot occurs, 50% of employees vote and a majority vote in favour; and * bargaining periods may be suspended where "pattern bargaining" (seeking terms offered by other employers) or claims for prohibited content occur. A suspension may also be ordered as a "cooling off" period where industrial action is having an adverse affect on the employees, employers or any third parties. Appendix E 1 Bulmer, J., "Update Economics B", Bulmer Chapman & CO PTY LTD, Wahroonga NSW, January 2007, pg 137 2 http://www.rba.gov.au/ChartPack/graphical_summary.pdf (03 June 2007) 3 Skulley, M. Rollins, A. (2007). Union Wage Claims Threat to Employers. Australian Financial Review. 30th March, pg 18 4 http://www.rba.gov.au/ChartPack/inflation_wage_measures.pdf (03 June 2007) 5 McConnel, J. Nailon, K. Johnston, C. (1996). Economic Activity Book 2. South Melbourne: VCTA Publishing. Pg 343 6 Bulmer, J. (2007). Update Economics B. Nahroonga NSW:Bulmer Chapman & Co Pty Ltd. Pg 138 7 McConnel, J. op. cit. pg 344 8 http://www.abs.gov.au/ (03 June 2007) 9 http://www.fairpay.gov.au/fairpay/About/ (1 April 2007) ...read more.

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