Has Enterprise Bargaining in the Australian Retail Industry Delivered its Promise of Family Friendly Working Conditions?

Hong Kong Baptist University
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of the 14th International Employment Relations Conference, 2007, pp. 47 - 58
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Enterprise bargaining is an important mechanism for achieving work-family working conditions in the Australian context. Some form of enterprise based bargaining has been present in this country at least since the early 1800 s and the formation of functioning trade unions, but its establishment as the dominant source of determining wages and working conditions took place by increments over the period from the late 1980 s until the present time. Similarly, concerns about the implications of working conditions for managing family responsibilities is evident in the writings of Charles Dickins and influenced the Harvester Judgment of 1908 in which a basic wage was set for Australian workers, yet the issue was not placed firmly on the public agenda until the early 1980 s with the ratification of the International Labour Organisation s (ILO) Convention Number 156, Workers with Family Responsibilities 1981. Since the 1980 s and up until the present, work-family issues have continued to gain prominence in legislation, public policy and community discussion.
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