February 2024

January 2024

December 2023

Closing Loopholes: Important repairs to the industrial relations system, no more, no less

by Fiona Macdonald in The New Daily

Labour hire workers can no longer be paid less than employees doing the same job in their workplaces as a result of industrial reforms passed by Parliament. However, other important reforms to close loopholes in employment laws and stop exploitation of workers and avoidance of standards won’t be voted on in Parliament until next year.

September 2023

New laws for ‘employee-like’ gig workers are good but far from perfect

by Fiona Macdonald

The Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke has described proposed new laws to regulate digital platform work as building a ramp with employees at the top, independent contractors at the bottom, and gig platform workers halfway up. The new laws will allow the Fair Work Commission to set minimum standards for ‘employee-like workers’ on digital platforms.

July 2023

November 2022

Three’s Company: What is multi-employer bargaining?

featuring Fiona Macdonald and Lily Raynes

To combat persistently low wages growth, the Government has put forward its Secure Jobs Better Pay Bill, currently before the Senate. The most contentious reform within the Bill is ‘multi-employer bargaining’. We’ve heard employer groups call it a ‘seismic shift that will increase strikes’. On the other hand, unions are calling the reforms moderate. What

Multi-Employer Bargaining Necessary for Fixing Wages Crisis

by Fiona Macdonald in The Conversation

Proposed reforms to Commonwealth industrial relations laws would create more opportunities for collective bargaining to occur on a multi-employer basis, rather than being limited solely to individual workplaces or enterprises. Business groups have attacked this proposal as a dramatic change that would supposedly spark widespread work stoppages and industrial chaos.

September 2022

Work in the Care Economy Vital for Future Well-Being

by Fiona Macdonald

There is growing understanding that care work — including jobs in aged care, disability services, early child education and care, and others — is of growing importance to future employment and wage trends, as well as to the quality of life of Australians who depend on these social and community services. For too long, jobs in these growing sectors have been devalued. Government underfunding and weak labour and quality standards have reinforced the degradation of work in care sectors. But with intense labour shortages, public concern about inadequate quality, and the need to expand services to meet social needs, there is now more widespread recognition that care jobs must be improved, and quickly: with more funding, better training, limits on private delivery, multi-employer bargaining, and more.

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