Family Provisions Test Case 8 August 2005 10 days carer’s leave Right to request 104 weeks unpaid parental leave; simultaneous unpaid parental leave for 8 weeks and to return p/t until child reaches school age. Annual leave carried forward for 2 years, 10 annual leave in separate days.
Test Case vs WorkChoices 433/20% of federal awards were varied to include test case standard before WorkChoices. Vic, Qld, NSW, SA, WA, Tas introduced provisions via legislation or general order for State employees. (Sue Williamson, PhD student)
Post-WorkChoices 27 March 2006 Australian Fair Pay and Conditions Standard – 52 weeks unpaid parental leave, 4 weeks annual leave (2 weeks traded), 10 days carer’s leave, ordinary hours of work and minimum pay. Award rationalisation process to reduce number and ‘merge’ contents. Preserved entitlements vs rationalised awards or new agreements for new employees. Possibility of two-tier provisions in work places.
Post-WorkChoices Prospects for improvements through bargaining? Prospects for improvements via business case arguments?
Family-friendly Policy and Practice at the Workplace Level Complex interactions between: Supervisors Interaction with other policies – e.g. pay structures; ‘manning’ levels; accounting methods. Employee agency – security; union representation; gender; autonomy; position etc. Organisational Norms – the ‘ideal worker’ and resilience of traditional male model
Observations Parental leave policies are accessed by: Women – reinforcing gendered divisions of labour at home and work White collar workers – reinforcing differences with blue-collar workers Women – are both family centred and career centred.
Conclusions Predicted parental leave and f-f outcomes - contingent on business needs rather than employee or social needs. Increasing divergence, variability and inequity. Need to: Continue to monitor impact of changes in regulatory regime on availability of entitlements to parents. More deeply interrogate notion of the ‘ideal worker’. Give renewed attention to job size, job design and work organisation.