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The form of work that was regarded as 'normal' working arrangements was full time employment. Up until recent decades a shift towards non-standard employment, that is, part time and casual work, occurred in the Australian labour market.

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Introduction

Traditionally, for many years, the form of work that was regarded as 'normal' working arrangements was full time employment. Up until recent decades a shift towards non-standard employment, that is, part time and casual work, occurred in the Australian labour market. As a result levels of permanent and full time employment declined. The rise of part time and casual employment was the one of the most significant changes to the Australian labour market. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) defines casual employees as workers who are not entitled to paid annual leave and sick leave in their main job (Reith, 2000). Part time workers are employees who usually work less than 35 hours a week. Employers are taking advantage of numerical flexibility, which is the flexibility in the number of employees working at any given time. That is, management is able to call on additional workers when needed and discard when not. The main stakeholders in regards to the increase of non standard employment are the employers, the employees, the union, and the state. But the three that will be discussed are the employers, the employees, and the union. ...read more.

Middle

The high proportion of casuals with variable earnings does suggest casual work is a flexible form of employment for employees and employers. Casual workers provide enterprises with both functional and numerical flexibility (Burgess, 1996). Casual employment allows enterprises to utilise specific skills that are specific task assigned and are outside of the employing enterprises internal labour market (Burgess, 1996). In context of recession, product mark uncertainty, and growing deregulation of economy, many enterprises may prefer casual working arrangements (Burgess, 1996). Taking on casual workers in uncertain product market context has potential cost advantages over employing permanent workers (Burgess, 1996). This applies especially to industries where product demand is inter-temporally uneven on daily, weekly, and or seasonal basis (Burgess, 1996). Relative productivity of casual labour will thus vary across firms and industries (Wooden, 1998). Factors that are likely to influence these differences include the importance of training and skills, importance of labour flexibility in responding to changes in output demand, way in which work is organised (Wooden, 1998). These factors impact on relative demand for casual workers (Wooden, 1998). Jobs that require high skill levels, such as formal education and training, then casual labour will not appeal to employers (Wooden, 1998). ...read more.

Conclusion

Due to these characteristics some industries favour part time employment more than others and vice versa. For example, retail trade and restaurants are involved in high degree of variability in demand so casual employment will be the chosen work arrangement by those employers. Casual employment density is highest in accommodation, cafes and restaurants, agriculture, forestry and fishing, cultural recreational services and retail trade, where as part time employment is only accounted by three industries which are retail trade, health and community services, and property and business services. Each employee has different needs and wants, therefore their work arrangements must suit this. The different reasons for employees choosing part time or casual work reflect the perspective that each employee has of non-standard employment. For example, ABS (1997) stated that women preferred part time or casual work because of personal reasons (44%, employment reasons (28%), and family reasons (25%). It can be see each employee views non-standard employment differently in a way how it benefits them. The increase in non-standard employment shows the demand for greater flexibility by employers. The three main stakeholders have similar and different perspectives and in some cases, such as the employer and employee stakeholder, the perspectives are different within the group. Rebecca Hallani 13460378 - 1 - ...read more.

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