Subject to qualification: Weakening links between job roles and qualifications in Australian manufacturing enterprise agreements

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Industrial Relations, 2018, 60 (4), pp. 517 - 537
Issue Date:
Filename Description Size
0022185618771113.pdfPublished Version385.26 kB
Adobe PDF
Full metadata record
© 2018, Australian Labour and Employment Relations Association (ALERA), SAGE Publications Ltd, Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore and Washington DC. This article examines job classifications in enterprise agreements from the Australian manufacturing industry, focusing on the recognition of formal qualifications. It follows earlier research that found the strength and frequency of references to qualifications vary considerably between modern awards, with manufacturing industry awards having some of the strongest connections. A representative sample of 350 agreements (13.5% of the total) made under the Fair Work Act between 2010 and 2013 was analysed. Analysis revealed that linkages between formal qualifications and job classification structures are less common in enterprise agreements than in relevant modern awards. However, the overall effects of enterprise bargaining on recognition of employees' qualifications are complex. We find that, one way or another, the award classification structure continues to apply in 47.1% of enterprise agreements. Through logistic regression, we explore factors influencing the use of formal qualifications as part of job classifications, with a particular focus on whether this extends beyond the licensing requirements of tradespeople (Certificate III). Our finding that three factors – workplace size, award coverage and union coverage – significantly affect enterprise bargaining outcomes is likely to be generalisable beyond this study's focus on job classifications to many other important terms in enterprise agreements.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: