Workplace "Bargaining" and the Wages/Working Time Nexus - Who Benefits?

Underhill, Elsa, Bertone, Santina and Doughney, James (2002) Workplace "Bargaining" and the Wages/Working Time Nexus - Who Benefits? Working Paper. Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia.


The impact of deregulation on dispersion of earnings in Victoria has been acknowledged in the findings of the recent task force enquiry into Industrial Relations in Victoria. This paper argues that the link between hours worked and rates of pay has played a significant, and understated, role in the increased dispersion of earnings evident in aggregate wages data. Drawing upon detailed analysis of hours and wages evident in Victorian agreements, data is presented on declining take-home pay flowing from hours worked coupled with loss of penalty rates. This, we argue, is attributable to the lack of substantive and procedural protections available to Victorian workers under Schedule 1A of the Workplace Relations Act, and formerly under the Victorian Employee Relations Act, 1992. We contrast these findings with collective agreements trading off penalty rates certified by the Australian Industrial Relations Commission, and Australian Workplace Agreements approved by the Office of the Employment Advocate and the Commission. We conclude by suggesting there is a scale of fair outcomes attached to the wages/hours trade-off, directly attributable to the various institutional mechanisms now influencing Australian wage determination.

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Item type Monograph (Working Paper)
Subjects Historical > RFCD Classification > 350000 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Historical > FOR Classification > 1503 Business and Management
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Management and Information Systems
Keywords workplace; bargaining; wages; working time; benefits; industrial relations
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