SYLLABUS THE WORKPLACE types of employment casual, part-time, full-time, self-employed voluntary and unpaid changing work patterns benefits of education and training for employment types of employment contracts awards, enterprise agreements individual workplace agreements, common law contracts rights and entitlements of casual, part-time and full-time employment unemployment
WHAT IS EMPLOYMENT? An employee is a person who works for a private business, a government department or other organisation and is rewarded with a wage or salary. In Australia, approximately 86 per cent of people who work are employees. Employers are people or organisations who hire others to work for them and pay them for their efforts.
CASUAL & PART TIME Casual Usually temporary work that does not offer the same level of protection as a permanent job often entitled to a loading on top of the pay rate received by a permanent worker. This is intended to compensate for missing out on sick leave, holiday pay and other benefits. Part-time Permanent employment where the employee works a set number of weekly working hours, but fewer hours than a full-time employee. It is an important factor in Australian industry, especially as many part-time jobs are in the fast-growing services sector. Many part-time workers receive the same benefits as those received by full- time workers but on a pro-rata basis; that is, in proportion to the number of hours worked.
FULL TIME & SELF EMPLOYED Full-time Traditionally means a regular job. Permanent work that is about eight hours a day, five days a week and 48 weeks of the year with four weeks paid annual leave. Self-employed are people who operate their own businesses and earn their income by selling goods and services.
VOLUNTARY & UNPAID WORK Technically, these people are not considered employed but they do make a valuable contribution to our society. Unpaid work: involves no monetary transaction and covers work performed in the household and community. Basically, there are two types of unpaid work. One is unpaid household work (for example, cleaning, shopping and child care) and unpaid work by persons in a family business or on a farm. Volunteer and community work: provided free of charge. Examples of this kind of work are unpaid aged care and volunteer work for charities.
WHAT'S DIFFERENT NOW? The majority of students today will have a role in the workforce for the next 30 to 40 years. Unlike parents or grandparents, students will probably have more than one occupation or career because of the impact of technology. It is now predicted that an average worker in the twenty-first century can expect to have four or five career changes throughout his or her working life. In addition, a worker may experience periods of full- time work, part-time work, casual work, self- employment and perhaps even periods of unemployment.
HOW HAS THE LABOUR FORCE CHANGED? the increasing numbers of women in the workforce sustained periods of relatively high unemployment the governments restructuring of the economy, such as reducing tariffs on imported goods, industrial relations reforms and changes to standards and regulations in certain industries (for example, the banking industry)
ability to sell our products globally due to the globalisation of product markets new management strategies by employers that emphasise workforce flexibility, which often means increased use of part- time and casual employees.
INDUSTRY SECTORS primary industries that exploit natural resources and produce raw materials; for example, farming secondary industries that process raw materials and manufacture finished goods; for example, the production of cars, food and clothes tertiary industries that distribute goods and provide services other than those provided by the quaternary and quinary sectors; for example, supermarkets, hairdressing and travel agencies quaternary industries that provide information-based services; for example, teaching, journalism and banking quinary industries that provide household services; for example, carpet cleaning, child care and restaurants.
MOVEMENT In 1966, close to 40 per cent of Australian workers were employed in the primary and secondary sectors. By 2007, just 41 years later, that proportion had decreased to just 16 per cent. Employment has grown significantly in the services sector, especially in the accommodation, cafes and restaurants industry and the property and business industry.
SELLING SERVICES TOO An important influence has been the recognition that many industries within the services sector have the potential to earn export income (that is, earn money by selling our services to people or organisations outside Australia). For example, over the last 16 years, Australias tourism and education industries have been actively promoted overseas. This has resulted in greater tourist dollars for Australia and an increase in full fee paying foreign students, especially tertiary students
WHAT'S THE RIGHT JOB FOR YOU? What type of job or area interests me? Is there a lot of demand for the area Im interested in working in? Do I have the required skills or qualifications for the job? Do I work well with other people or better with technology? Will I prefer working indoors or outdoors, in the city or the country? What type of work best suits mefull-time, part-time or casual? Should I start my own business? What are the personal and social benefits of working to such as job satisfaction and contributing to society by providing a good or service and by paying taxes?
PERSONAL VALUE Receiving a good education and/or the right training will result in individual improvement and greater personal satisfaction. It will also increase your employment prospects. Government statistics show that employment is highest among those with a degree or higher degree and lowest for those who did not complete secondary school.
OTHER BENEFITS Usually will mean a regular income and an increase in your consumer power. There may be a certain level of prestige attached to your job or there may be fringe benefits, such as a car, international travel and discounts on certain products. Job satisfaction and the sense of self worth that comes from being employed and contributing to society.
WHEN TO STOP? Education and training should not be seen as short- term achievements that stop at the end of high school or university. They are lifelong pursuits that see 20, 30 and even 50-year-olds retraining, seeking further qualifications and meeting new challenges in relation to their employment. The people who are most likely to find and keep a job, therefore, will be those who are well educated, have skills and are flexible and adaptable.
OVERVIEW A contract of employment is made when an employer offers someone a job and agrees to pay them for their work. It becomes binding when the employee accepts the offer. In Australia, there are several different types of employment contracts that detail the different terms and conditions of employment. Areas such as rates of pay, fringe benefits, entitlements and workplace protection all come under the heading of terms and working conditions. Many terms and conditions are governed by law which means they are mandatory and fixed (for example, the entitlement to four weeks annual leave per year), while others can be subject to negotiation between employees and the employer.
FORMAL AGREEMENTS Until the 1990s most employment terms and conditions were included in detailed statements called awards, many of which applied Australia- wide. In an attempt to build more flexible workplaces, employers have moved towards enterprise agreements A formal agreement is a written agreement that must be approved by a government authority, such as the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) or the Office of the Employment Advocate
AWARDS An award sets out the minimum terms and conditions for a particular industry and includes 10 allowable matters (or points). Some of these are: hours of work Overtime & penalty rates of pay leave, including annual, sick, bereavement, long service and parental leave injury and workers compensation hiring and termination of employment.
ENTERPRISE AGREEMENTS There are two types of enterprise agreements: Australian workplace agreements (AWAs) and certified agreements. An AWA is an individual written agreement between an employee and the employer outlining the terms and conditions of employment which can include the employees hours of work, pay, annual leave and sick leave A certified agreement is made between an employer and a group of workers who represent the interests of all employees in the workplace. The employees may be represented by one or more trade unions but they do not have to be. As long as the final agreement is supported by 65 per cent of the employees then a certified agreement can be made.
INDIVIDUAL WORKPLACE AGREEMENTS In December 2005, the Howard government introduced a new national system of employment regulations known as WorkChoices. This new system came into effect in March 2006. The aim of WorkChoices was to further simplify the workplace agreement-making process. One way this was done was promoting the use of AWAs above all other employment contracts. Employers were encouraged to employ new employees under AWAs and/or change existing agreements to AWAs.
FAIR OR UNFAIR? Opponents of WorkChoices argued that AWAs would, over time, lead to a widening gap in rates of pay and a deterioration of working conditions. Some employees are more skilled at negotiation than others, allowing them to secure better conditions than those who are less effective negotiators. WorkChoices also weakened the influence of trade unions since employees may represent themselves rather than involving the relevant trade union. In November 2007, the Rudd government came to power and abolished the highly unpopular WorkChoices.
COMMON LAW CONTRACTS Informal agreements are either verbal or written agreements that are not approved by a government authority, such as the AIRC. Any rights under an informal agreement are from the common law, which means that this type of agreement is legally binding in the same way as other contracts. Formal agreements are more easily enforced than informal agreements An informal agreement can cover such matters as pay, annual leave and sick leave. The terms and conditions agreed to, however, cannot be less than the minimum terms and conditions of employment set out in a formal agreement, such as an award, that would otherwise apply to the job
RIGHTS AND ENTITLEMENTS OF CASUAL, PART-TIME AND FULL-TIME EMPLOYMENT at least one week of sick leave per year a working week no longer than 40 hours unless overtime is paid pay rates not less than the award hourly rate for normal hours minimum periods of annual, long-service, maternity and parental leave as set down in legislation.
As a worker you may experience one or more periods in your life where you are unemployed. There may be many reasons for this. You may be in the process of changing from one job to another. The job is seasonal (for example, a fruit picker, shearer or ski- lift operator); that is, where the work is only available for part of the year. Because of the economic climate.
REDUNDANCY You may find yourself unemployed because of technological advances that make your job and its associated tasks and responsibilities redundant e.g. farm workers who have been replaced by machinery to plough the field etc. The possibility of redundancy is of the greatest concern to industries with jobs that are labour intensive.