Economics, Commerce and Industrial Relations Group
Appendix 1 Terminology
Appendix 2 ACTU Codes of Conduct on Twelve Hour
Shift Work and Casual and Part Time Work
Appendix 3 European Directive: Working
Appendix 4 US Guidelines on Short Term
Appendix 5 Options for Managing the Workload
when Employees take Prolonged Leave:
Appendix 6 ICI Botany: The 'Annualised Salary'
Approach For Engineering Technicians (Fitters and Riggers)
Appendix 7 Sheraton Pacific Hotels: The
'Annualised Salary/Loaded Hourly Rate' Approach
- Australian Bureau of Statistics
- Australian Council of Trade Union
- Australian Industrial Relations Commission
- Australian Public Service
- Award Restructuring Process
- Department of Industrial Relations
- Department of Labor
- European Working Time Directive
- Gross Domestic Product
- International Labour Organisation
- Permanent Part-Time
- Rostered-Day Off
- Structural Efficiency Principle
- United Kingdom
- United States
- Voluntary Reduced Worktime
In a number of countries work redistribution through changes to
standard working hours is being investigated as a means to reduce
unemployment. Economic growth has not translated into employment
growth, an outcome known as the 'jobless recovery'.
However, some countries have performed better than others in
generating jobs along with increases in Gross Domestic Product
(GDP). On a comparative basis, Australia has performed well in job
creation. Although unemployment in Australia has been reduced over
the past two years, the fall does not appear to be sustained.
Flexible work arrangements potentially offer the scope to share the
If new work arrangements are to benefit employees and perhaps
the unemployed, there needs to be a 'decoupling' of workplace hours
from those performing it. This means that the operating times of
plant and equipment will be separated from the period which any one
individual worker spends at work. It is still possible to keep
operating times of plant long, or even continuous, while working
times of individuals can be reduced. Such working hour arrangements
are termed by the OECD few time arrangements Unless
decoupling is facilitated in some way, the opportunities for hours
flexibility seem less.
One feature of working hours for full-time employees is the
increase in the proportion of these who are working 'long' weekly
hours. This proportion has increased from under 30 per cent in the
mid 1960s to about 43 per cent currently. However there have been
other trends in hours worked and the pattern might be best
described as dispersion-away from the forty hour week, i.e. both
toward longer and shorter hours. Nevertheless, Australians are
reporting that they are overworked and often they would prefer
The shift to enterprise bargaining has allowed employers to put
the working hours arrangements on the bargaining table. However
'liberated' working arrangements such as job-sharing or working
from home are not prevalent, as revealed in a survey of enterprise
Such trends beg the question: to what extent can current working
arrangements be altered to provide more of those without work with
work, and lessen the burden on those in work? There have been some
specific examples of the alteration to working hours in certain
enterprises leading to either a halt on retrenchment or the
creation of some jobs.
There is also a bargaining process concerning working time
arrangements. Employers seek the removal of restrictions on night,
shift and weekend work, as well as on daily maximum hours, while
unions typically seek to limit the detrimental affects of working
The ACTU released guidelines in 1990 on part time work, casual
work, job sharing and twelve hour shifts. Enterprise bargaining has
enabled experiments with a variety of hours and pay arrangements,
with recognised examples being at the ICI Botany chemical plant and
the Sheraton Pacific Hotels enterprise agreements.
More recently, the two family Leave Test Case ecisions
(1994,1995) have broached the matter of working hours flexibility
from the interests of employees, and on an award basis thus
reaching more of the workforce. The objective of the union claim
was to allow (private sector) employees access some of their
current leave entitlements for the purpose of caring for family
members. The decisions (affecting federal award employees) have
covered other issues pertaining to working hours and for example
have sanctioned overtime work being taken as time off rather than
as income. Also it was decided that permanent part-time work
provisions are to be promoted in the current review of awards under
s.150A of the Industrial Relations Act 1988. As well,
employees who elect for these shorter hours are to have access to
similar benefits as full-time employees such as training.
The European Working Time Directive (EWTD,1993) recognises the
concern of European Union countries to set upper limits on time
worked so as to allow work redistribution to occur. No similar
policy on working time has so far been adopted or canvassed in
Australia, yet given the extent of unpaid 'overtime' by the
professional classes, government policy on reasonable working hours
The test of the success of work hours redistribution is that it
will direct jobs to those unemployed. Detractors of work
redistribution cite a potential fall in productivity as quality
labour may be replaced by poorer quality labour, or by labour with
different (and inadequate) skills and labour on-costs may increase.
The unqualified success of work redistribution to reduce
unemployment measures therefore cannot be guaranteed and most
academic study confirms this. However, giving employees the
optionto take increases in productivity in leave rather
than income should be recognised as legitimate in a bargaining
process and that certain sections of the workforce may pursue this
What scope is there for work to be redistributed such that
unemployment levels might be reduced? This is a question on the
agenda of employment policy makers in governments, unions, the
Organisation for Cooperation and Economic Development and the
International Labour Organisation (ILO).
Using trend statistics, Australia's unemployment level
stood at 768 400 in January 1996. Of these, 234 200 had been
unemployed for a year or more. Unemployment has been reduced over
the past two years. By early 1993 it reached 11 per cent and by mid
1995 it had fallen to 8.3 per cent, although this fall has not been
sustained. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) estimate of
the total labour force (January 1996) includes 9.09 million
individuals either working or seeking work. In January 1996,
employment stood at 8.32 million which is above the last peak of
employment reached in 1990 (7.89 million).
The growth in employment seems to have stalled in late 1995: the
contribution of the September 1995 quarter to jobs growth was a
mere 15 000, and the December quarter added 28 000 jobs. If the
rates of unemployment reduction and employment growth have stalled,
is there any scope to redistribute the work available? Also, if
incomes and GDP are rising while employment growth remains flat, do
these trends provide even superficial evidence that we are working
harder than we have in the past, and if so, is it possible for work
to be redistributed and thus providing work for those without
This paper evaluates the options to redistribute work. It
- the characteristics of unemployment amid prosperity which has
lead academics to term the current phase of recovery as jobless
- the interests of employers, unions and governments in seeking
more flexibility in working hours, and the advantages and
disadvantages for employers and employees: note that terms such as
flextime, job sharing, work sharing, annualised hours and others
are explained in Appendix 1
- the Australian debate flexible work hours which in the late
1980s through the centralised wage system favoured the operating
needs of employers but more recently the Family Leave Test
Cases have broached the working hours issue from the needs of
- the paper evaluates some statistics and information on working
- which employees are working long hours
- the trend of people working 'harder' and thus the scope for
work redistribution as well as
- the role of enterprise agreements in promoting new time
- international initiatives to create flexible hours work
arrangements and so redistribute employment
- the counter arguments to work sharing as a method of
alleviating unemployment are also considered:
- that work sharing is a poor approach to solving unemployment
and that those who work share do so because of their personal
preference, not of an altruistic motive
From the perspective of OECD countries, the gravity of
unemployment has generated a number of inquiries and possible
solutions, particularly within the European Community. Work
redistribution is certainly one option under evaluation. The OECD
commissioned a number of workshops and studies on options for
employment generation. These are reported in a series under the
title of the Jobs Study.
The OECD also convened seminars of its (tripartite) Working
Party on Industrial Relations in 1993 to evaluate job sharing, work
redistribution and working arrangement flexibilities. It
commissioned eight national reports (Canada, France, Germany,
Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Sweden and the UK) on flexible hours
in three industries: metal manufacturing, the retail trade and
health services. A report of these workshops was released by the
OECD in 1995 (1).
From these workshops policy makers have observed that economic
progress has not uniformly translated into employment—the
so-called 'jobless recovery'. The charts in the following pages
correlate the growth (or fall) in employment with the growth of
output for selected countries. The charts also show that employment
generation is not necessarily linked to GDP
growth—spectacularly so in the case of France, the UK and
Germany. The employment generation effect has been healthy for the
US and Japan, with Australia being a better performer on employment
generation. These tables are reprinted from the OECD's OECD
Societies in Transition, The Future of Work and Leisure
(1994). Employment and GDP data for Australia has been prepared by
the Parliamentary Research Service.
Chart 1: GDP and employment growth in industrialised countries
(Source: OECD societies in transition, OECD, 1994)
Chart 2: GDP and employment growth in Australia
(Source: Parliamentary Research Service)
As a response to jobless growth, a number of countries are
promoting flexible work arrangements to spread paid work, and so
mitigate rises in unemployment. Arrangements such as part-time
work, job sharing, flex hours and other work arrangements are being
devised to provide flexibilities for individuals and to offset
retrenchments. The OECD terms these flexible working arrangements
new time arrangements. They can operate to the benefit of employers
or employees and sometimes both.
Employers seek various forms of workforce flexibility. They
particularly seek 'numerical flexibility' allowing the size of the
workforce to be adjusted by the hiring/firing of temporary workers.
It is helpful to distinguish the new time arrangements from the
traditional working hours arrangements of shift work and the
working of overtime. These schemes of providing numerical
flexibility have been used extensively-a point made by Gerhard
Bosch of the OECD,
Flexible working time arrangements are actually nothing new.
Overtime is a long established way of extending operating time and
working hours to meet firms' requirements. Shift, night and weekend
work are equally familiar. Everybody who has looked in detail at
the reality of firms' time arrangements in the past is well aware
of the wide range of formal and informal arrangements that exist in
order to create the flexibility needed to match working time and
operating hours to the needs of firms and individuals (2).
The working hours flexibility debate is also often described in
the context of a 'core-periphery' labour market (3). Firms employ a
core of full-time employees. These comprise employees who are
well-trained and thus valuable to the employer. Where seasonal
factors or operational demands require, additional temporary
workers may be employed (and later dismissed). Flexibility can go
beyond the employment relation and extend to the use of contractors
who may work off the employer's premises.
However, the work redistribution issue centres mainly on the
core workforce wanting or being willing to reduce their hours. Less
than full-time employment such as casual and part-time work appear
to be the converse of 'full-time' work and the two terms are often
used synonymously. Part-time work may be permanent or casual. To
make the change to less than full-time hours, employees usually
seek permanency and, as will be discussed further, this
approach often conflicts with employers' perceptions of the
responsibilities of the 'core' workforce.
Changes to ordinary working hours may also bring about a further
restructure of roles and responsibilities of individuals and
families. Patricia Hewitt suggests that what is involved in
adopting working time flexibility arrangements is more than a
slight adjustment to standard working hours. She is critical of the
mindset which accompanied the former regimen of the eight hour day
and five day week:
It pervades the culture of business, management and public life.
It affects the organisation and strategies of trades unions as well
as most discussion of full employment. It indirectly influences
decisions in many other policy areas, including transport, leisure
provision, child care and the care of elderly dependants .. . This
model ... simply does not fit modern industrial countries (4).
One development which has prompted the use of new time
arrangements has been the international liberalisation of retail
hours and the downstream harmonisation requirements to service the
retail trade in manufacturing, storage and transport. The
composition of cost structures in large part support the use of 24
hour operation in retailing. Probert observes that in the case of
large supermarkets, the extra costs of being open as opposed to
closed are marginal (5).
A second factor promoting new time arrangements has been the
increasing personal and social costs associated with the journey to
and from work i.e. traffic congestion and parking shortages at peak
periods Also important in the US context, has been the force of
'Clean Air' legislation. This federal US law targets ten or so
heavily polluted US cities and requires employers to devise ways of
reducing the use of car transport by their employees.
The third factor has been industrial restructuring,
technological change and the effects of recession whereby employers
and unions seek alternatives to retrenchment and firms seek to
re-arrange their cost structures. The combination of changes to
work patterns, the labour force composition (the change to two
income families especially and the movement of more women into paid
work) and transport needs has also been recently explored in an
Australian context (6).
Additionally, workers with family responsibilities and older
workers may have different concerns, but they may share an interest
in some forms of working time flexibility, such as educational
leave, shorter hours and other arrangements and more flexible hours
or phased retirement.
The OECD notes that the in the course of a century, annual
average working hours for an individual have decreased from 3 000
to 1 700 (7). The ILO in its review of working hours flexibility
cites the dominant reason for the current re-examination of the
arrangement of working time is the long term reduction in hours of
work which has occurred in many industrialised countries. As it
it would be impossible to ignore the stimulus given to greater
flexibility. As working time gradually has become disconnected from
the operating time of enterprises, both workers and employers have
been faced with new scheduling needs and opportunities.
Behind the pressure for reduced hours and increased flexibility
are the high levels of unemployment found in many countries.
While the potential for employment generation through
reduced hours or increased flexibility is highly
controversial it is apparent that the momentum for shorter
hours and greater flexibility will not be easily reversed (8).
From its review of literature (such as company personnel
practice manuals), the ILO notes that the organisation of working
time 'affects and is affected by' three elements: economic
efficiency, working conditions and employment. Each of these
elements has a number of issues attached to it. These are
- Investments An enterprise needs to calculate
whether it is more advantageous to extend the operating hours of
existing equipment or whether it would be preferable to invest in
- Volume of production An enterprise might
consider the options of increasing or decreasing the volume of
- Market demand.The enterprise needs to
ascertain whether the market can absorb an increase in production
without a decrease in product price. If competition is strong, an
increase in production may lead to price changes. Thus market
demand, potential changes in demand, the number of competitive
enterprises and their size, as well as delivery time should he
- Capital costs This refers mainly to interest
rates and the amortisation time of equipment. The useful life of
equipment and the pace of technological development need to be
- Labour costs Certain working time options may
increase labour costs due to the need to compensate for
inconvenient hours by paying special rates or premiums. Depending
on the schedule, these extra costs may either be compensated or
reinforced by an increase or decrease in labour productivity.
- Other factors. Other economic factors that may
play a role in determining working time options are the cost of
power, light and heat; stocking and shipping costs; and transport
costs and commuting time of workers.
While the potential for employment generation through reduced
hours or increased flexibility is controversial, it is apparent
that the momentum for shorter hours and greater flexibility has
Any redistribution of work using new work arrangements will
change standard 'ordinary' hours. When the rewards of increases to
output are taken as time, it is likely to cause an employment gap
and for some period increase the demand for labour. Some practical
options for overcoming temporary absences are given in Appendix 5.
Rewarding workers for improving productivity by allowing them to
take the increase or part of the productivity increase as leave
rather than pay may provide employment opportunities. However,
Gerhard Bosch of the OECD notes that extensions to working hours by
working overtime are still the preferred option for most employers
rather than employing new staff (9).
Employers' demands for flexibility extend to numerical
flexibility to adjust the numbers in the workforce, functional
flexibility to alter the duties and tasks of individuals, wage
flexibility to move to 'performance' criteria and to respond to
local labour market conditions and the flexibility to contract out
work when required. Where employees prefer shorter hours, employers
may regard these non full-time employees as lacking the commitment
full-time employees. The implication is that employers may not see
PPT arrangements as true alternatives to full-time employment and
may not promote its use. Temporary staff may be employed to achieve
any required numerical flexibility.
The tendency of management to doubt the commitment of part-time
workers has been criticised by one US academic, as reported by
Olmsted and Smith:
We have here a really a cultural or attitudinal stereotype
situation as to how managers think about part-time employment. It
is not that part-timers are less productive; no, they are probably
more productive ... the difference is that employers believe that
part-timers are not career oriented (10).
Olmsted and Smith also contend that in the US context, the
emergence of regular part–time employment and its
subsets—job sharing, phased or partial retirement, leave time
and work sharing programs (see Appendix 1)—has come about
largely because employers want to retain good employees (over
periods of slack demand for the firm's product) and to avoid the
costs of retrenchments. There has also been a growing understanding
that employees perform better if work schedules can be constructed
to meet the needs of both the job and the worker.
The main advantage for employers in new time arrangements cited
by the ILO is the extension of operating hours beyond the normal
working day. Other considerations are:
- longer operating time of equipment means that fixed capital
costs can be distributed over a greater number of hours or units of
output, thus lowering the portion accounted for by fixed capital in
the price of the finished product
- the increasing cost of investments often necessitates changes
to working hours to reduce the pay-back period of equipment
- the ability to adjust the production capacity to the level and
composition of demand and thereby use the available working hours
more efficiently. Variations in business intensity may occur during
the day, or on certain days of the week or month, or over longer
- flexible work arrangements can also be used by companies to
address unforeseen staffing needs.
However the OECD makes a critical observation of annual
hours schemes (see terminology in Appendix 1):
In many cases, new time arrangements have nothing to do with the
introduction of interesting and innovative working time models, but
are merely attempts to reduce wage costs by replacing expensive
forms of working-time organisation with cheaper ones. This is
indeed the purpose behind most annual hours schemes (11).
The potential disadvantages of flexible or new working time
arrangements for employers are not often addressed. This may either
be due to the fact that negative consequences are not perceived at
all, or that they are considered as marginal and negligible in
comparison with the benefits. The few disadvantages cited are:
- increased demands with regard to planning, organisation and
- the medium and long-term personnel planning capacity of the
enterprise needs to be strengthened
- co-ordination and supervision may become more difficult and
thus require more personnel resources and more responsibility from
managers and supervisors
- higher administrative costs associated with operating and
monitoring flexible working patterns, including investment in
additional technical equipment, such as electronic data processing
equipment; increased costs for social security and enterprise
benefits that are independent of wages (e.g. medical benefits,
canteen or transport subsidies)
- increases in training costs, in particular with regard to
multiskilling and supervisory and co-ordination needs.
Australian public sector unions sought and gained federal awards
facilitating home-based work in 1994; eighteen months later the
number of workers using the arrangement was reported to be less
than twenty (12). Management has restricted access to the
arrangement on the grounds of the cost of locating and connecting
computer systems to the homes of workers, possible lack of
supervision and potential occupational health and workers
Trade unions tend to draw a sharp distinction between working
time flexibility, which may have advantages for workers, and
working hours deregulation, which they consider a threat to
acquired rights and which they strongly oppose.
The need for some numerical and functional flexibility and to
decouple of working hours from operating hours is sometimes
recognised. Flexible arrangements leading to work during unpopular
hours, to irregular schedules, to an intensification of performance
standards, and to work at short notice and at any time (in the
absence of offsetting penalty rates) are strongly rejected.
Unions recognise the popularity of flexible work arrangements
with workers and tend to concentrate on developing equitable ground
rules for utilising this scheduling arrangement (13).
Collective agreements containing appropriate long-term
provisions on working time and personnel planning and a certain
degree of flexible organisation seem acceptable to many unions. The
demands of workers' organisations as compensation for increased
- the reduction of working time without loss of income
- increased employment security and reduction of precarious
- creation of jobs
- reduction of overtime
- leave provisions that are advantageous to workers
- special leave and working time arrangements for specific
categories of workers (workers with family responsibilities, older
workers, workers with disabilities etc.)
- equal rights for full-time workers, part-time workers and
- improved education and training possibilities
- improved working conditions.
Flexible working time schedules can have the following
- they may shift the emphasis from collective arrangements to
individual arrangements and contracts
- this may decrease solidarity among workers and diminish the
bargaining strength of trade unions
- individualised working hours may also shift attention away from
collective reductions of working hours and thus take pressure off
- flexible hours arrangements may limit the creation of full-time
The main advantage of flexible hours is the aim of reducing
working time without loss of salary so as to increase
It is not surprising then that the main advantage seen by unions
is a reduction of working time. This may have positive effects on
the health and social and family lives of workers, either for all
workers, for workers in hazardous or strenuous employment, or for
special categories of workers, such as workers with family
responsibilities, older workers, and workers with disabilities.
The ILO cites certain advantages for workers such as:
- the safeguarding of employment through increased
- more possibilities to adjust working time to individual needs
and thus better co-ordination between personal and working
- greater job satisfaction as a consequence of being more
independent and receiving more responsibility.
The ILO mentions the following disadvantages for workers, and
these mainly concern family life:
- the organisation of family life can become particularly
strained, since rest, leisure and working time may be different
from the rest of the family. The preparation of meals, household
work, taking care of the children, all must be constantly adapted
to the irregular working hours
- time spent with family members is reduced. This may cause
serious problems between parents and children or between spouses.
If the spouse works as well and on a different schedule,
difficulties increase and may lead to a separate family and social
- contacts with friends and relations have to be planned more
carefully; sports, cultural and political activities may become
more difficult; leisure time is more often spent alone
- potential transport difficulties are mentioned, since public
transport schedules are frequently adjusted to normal working
- all of these problems are compounded if the worker lives in
The advantages and disadvantages for employers and employees are
not clear cut. They are meant to be a general representation of
interests and in specific circumstances may have much less (or
Governments have sought to assist the introduction of more
flexible working arrangements. However the nature of introduction
of working time arrangements has been at the enterprise level, as
the OECD observes:
Negotiations have tended to become increasingly concentrated at
enterprise and plant levels where positions have become more
detailed and sophisticated (14) .
Therefore the form of any government intervention has been
tailored to the particular institutional structures of the
country's labour market and usually is not prescriptive, and where
legislation has been enacted, it can be considerably out of kilter
with shop floor operations. The OECD report on flexible working
time found that the letter of the work hour law is often side
stepped and some countries tolerate practices which violate the
letter of the law (15). It also quotes one labour lawyer's
reference to a 'certain helplessness' of the legislator in respect
to regulating new work arrangements (16). As a response to demands
for working hours flexibility, governments prefer to add a margin
of flexibility to working hours regulations.
Nevertheless, governments have regulated certain entitlements,
increasingly broaching family care leave and paid leave
arrangements. The United States has attempted to support employers
demands for numerical flexibility and employees demands for income
security through short time compensation legislation. The
federal law prescribes model legislation which might be adopted by
the States and it is described in Appendix 4.
The United States has also responded to employees needs for
working hours flexibility by introducing a form of (basic) family
care and personal sick leave entitlement. The Family and
Medical Leave Act 1993 requires employers of fifty employees
or more to provide job security and leave to employees who have
worked twenty or more workweeks in the current or preceding
calendar year. It mandates up to twelve weeks unpaid, job-protected
leave for the birth or placement for adoption of a child, or a
serious health condition of an employee, spouse, child, parent.
Many US States have similar laws. The federal law does not diminish
the provisions State laws which provide a better standard.
For other countries, hours of work are often legislated but are
capable of being modified through collective agreements. In short,
governments find it difficult to weaken working hours regulations,
while nevertheless favouring the new time arrangements. A review of
some national approaches to working hours flexibility is contained
below in the section 'Working Hours: Overseas Experience'.
In Australia, the last major industrial claim for an across the
board reduction in standard hours occurred in 1979-82. This was the
period when key unions in engineering and manufacturing pushed for
wage improvements as well as the introduction of the thirty eight
hour week. The forty hour week had become the norm by the mid
Working time arrangements became an issue during the wages
processes under the AIRC's Restructuring and Efficiency process in
1987 and later under the SEP or ARP (1988-1991). It is this period
which opened the debate on working time demands, particularly in
respect to shift work, overtime arrangements they use of casual and
The reluctance of unions to readily embrace permanent part-time
arrangements in awards has been noted by Romeyn in her report on
casual and part-time work arrangements. She quoted a 1986 survey of
federal awards which showed part-time provisions to be half as
prevalent as casual employment provisions, although this has
possibly improved since (17). Awards are more likely to feature
casual employment provisions and this helps explain the growth in
casual employment, i.e. casual employment is the more prevalent
award provision to part-time employment provision. Casual
employment grew from 20 per cent of the workforce in August 1989 to
22.7 per cent by August 1993 (18). Casual employment is a more
precarious form of employment by comparison to permanent part-time
employment, but unions have assumed that the added cost of casual
employment would limit its use.
A report prepared for the DIR at the conclusion of award
restructuring (prior to enterprise bargaining), summed up the
progress made on working time arrangements (1992),
Wages policy in Australia over recent years has focused on the
need to improve our productivity and international competitiveness.
As a result of award restructuring and workplace bargaining a
broader range of options is now available to achieve greater
working-time flexibility. These options include continuous twelve
hour shifts, loaded base hourly rates, flexible working hours and
time off in lieu arrangements (19).
The demand by industry for more flexible working arrangements
resulted with the union movement developing guidelines advising
unions and employees as to how the new time arrangements might be
best managed. This can be seen in release of guidelines by the ACTU
in 1990 on part-time and casual work, job sharing and twelve hour
shifts. These guidelines are reproduced in Appendix 2. The ACTU
guidelines on new time arrangements represent an in-principle
acceptance of these arrangements by the union movement. The
guidelines also make clear to individual affiliates that the
construct of a new hours package for a particular enterprise, such
as a twelve hour shift arrangement and any consequent leave or time
off arrangements, will determine its suitability and acceptance by
a particular workforce.
Another aspect of flexibility concerns pay structures. The work
and pay motives created by the traditional Australian pay system
comprising a base rate and allowances was confronted at ICI in the
late 1980s and the replacement remuneration system using annualised
salaries have been emulated in a number of enterprises and
industries since. The traditional base pay and allowances wage
system has been recently characterised by a House of
Representatives Report on the long term future of work,
The traditional pay system which was characteristically a weekly
wage with additional overtime or bonuses creates the situation
where workers are, in effect, paid for attendance rather than work
done which encourages workers to spread the work out to ensure
The new hours arrangements operating at that plant have provided
ICI workers with secure pay, including allowances and much greater
access by workers to social activities and a social life than was
the case under the former continuous eight hour shift arrangements.
This does not mean that each employee has been clearly financially
advantaged in the move from a base rate of pay and allowances.
The Sheraton Pacific Hotels Agreement is noteworthy because it
attempted to limit the use of casuals in Sheraton hotels by basing
its staffing needs on an extremely complex roster arrangement (See
Appendix 7). As Probert notes, the Sheraton Agreement has been
rightly held up as an example of 'best practice' (21). Both the ICI
and Sheraton examples highlight the potential gains for working
hours arrangements to be made under enterprise bargaining compared
to the more circumscribed hours arrangements typified under the
centralised wage system.
This period of change to the standard working week warrants some
analysis of the current working arrangements used within the
workforce. An ABS survey on working arrangements (for August 1995)
found that out of a workforce of 6.69 million about 4.24 million
workers had fixed start and finish times, and of these about 905
300 had negotiated start and finish times (22). For 2.44 million
employees, start and finish times were not fixed, with about 1.51
million of these able to vary their start and finish times on a
daily basis. The ABS found a slight increase in the proportion of
full-time workers who were able to vary their start and finish
times compared to 1993. For part-timers the proportion who were
able to vary their times remained unchanged. The occupations most
likely to be able to vary their times were managers, professionals
and clerks. The occupations were times were most likely to be fixed
were labourers, plant/machine operators and tradespersons. About
1.77 million workers had access to an RDO as part of their work
Overtime was worked by 2.38 million workers regularly. Of these
about 608 000 worked overtime of one to four hours per week; 682
000 (1993: 630 000) worked five to nine hours and 653 900 (1993:
568 000) worked between ten to nineteen hours, while 252 200
(1993:217 000) worked twenty hours or more. About 43 per cent of
full-timers worked overtime, while 12 per cent of part-timers
The variations to the standard Monday to Friday working week
were strong but not overwhelming. Of the 5.1 million full-time
workers, 75 per cent (3.825 million) worked the standard five day
week (1993: 78 per cent), 13 per cent worked week days and weekends
(1993:12 per cent) and 9 per cent worked varying days each week
Three tables have been prepared indicating the incidence of
full-time employees working long hours. Table 1 shows the strong
increase in the percentage of full-time employees working
more than forty hours per week. Table 2 shows the
percentage working forty hours or more. Until the mid 1980s, this
trend was downward and would no doubt reflect the trends to shorter
hours which the ILO and OECD refer to. It can be seen that whereas
it was the norm in the 1960s for about 30 per cent of full-time
workers to work more than forty hours, by the early 1990s and
taking the recession into account, it was common for forty per cent
or more full-time workers to work more than forty hours. Table 3
further breaks down hours worked.
Table 1 Proportion of full-time employed persons working
in excess of 40 hours per week
Worked > F/T Employed Worked >40 Total Labour Worked >40
40hrs Persons* as% F/T Force as % Total
'000 '000 '000
Aug-66 1241.4 4348.8 28.5 4902.5 25.3
Aug-67 1294.8 4423.2 29.3 5019.8 25.8
Aug-68 1335.1 4524.8 29.5 5136.8 26.0
Aug-69 1418.0 4610.3 30.8 5261.9 26.9
Aug-70 1501.6 4825.9 31.1 5473.8 27.4
Aug-71 1511.1 4939.6 30.6 5608.4 26.9
Aug-72 1542.4 4988.4 30.9 5753.9 26.8
Aug-73 1630.9 5092.9 32.0 5888.7 27.7
Aug-74 1571.0 5127.8 30.6 5996.1 26.2
Aug-75 1440.4 5046.8 28.5 6119.7 23.5
Aug-76 1403.2 5036.9 27.9 6190.5 22.7
Aug-77 1443.3 5094.6 28.3 6354.7 22.7
Aug-78 1583.0 5045.3 31.4 6403.7 24.7
Aug-79 1687.7 5113.1 33.0 6456.0 26.1
Aug-80 1712.6 5251.1 32.6 6675.9 25.7
Aug-81 1719.5 5337.1 32.2 6774.3 25.4
Aug-82 1650.2 5285.9 31.2 6840.7 24.1
Aug-83 1616.0 5150.3 31.4 6927.9 23.3
Aug-84 1783.7 5318.8 33.5 7070.1 25.2
Aug-85 1850.3 5464.0 33.9 7248.3 25.5
Aug-86 1956.9 5608.8 34.9 7516.2 26.0
Aug-87 2026.4 5671.1 35.7 7694.4 26.3
Aug-88 2249.9 5874.6 38.3 7892.1 28.5
Aug-89 2416.4 6096.8 39.6 8183.7 29.5
Aug-90 2358.2 6141.6 38.4 8392.6 28.1
Aug-91 2229.2 5905.8 37.7 8428.1 26.4
Aug-92 2282.8 5752.2 39.7 8515.9 26.8
Aug-93 2425.8 5800.5 41.8 8537.0 28.4
Aug-94 2660.0 5961.7 44.6 8683.5 30.6
Aug-95 2711.7 6183.5 43.9 8939.6 30.3
*Defined as persons who worked 35 hours or more a week.
Source: ABS Labour Force (Cat.No.6203)
Table 2 Proportion of full-time employed persons working
40 hours or more per week
Worked F/T Employed Worked 40+ as Total Labour Worked 40+
40+hrs Persons % F/T Force as % Total
Employed Labour Force
'000 '000 '000
Aug-66 3535.6 4348.8 81.3 4902.5 72.1
Aug-67 3556.2 4423.2 80.4 5019.8 70.8
Aug-68 3578.8 4524.8 79.1 5136.8 69.7
Aug-69 3576.7 4610.3 77.6 5261.9 68.0
Aug-70 3630.3 4825.9 75.2 5473.8 66.3
Aug-71 3846.5 4939.6 77.9 5608.4 68.6
Aug-72 3861.1 4988.4 77.4 5753.9 67.1
Aug-73 3935.4 5092.9 77.3 5888.7 66.8
Aug-74 3790.0 5127.8 73.9 5996.1 63.2
Aug-75 3699.4 5046.8 73.3 6119.7 60.5
Aug-76 3686.0 5036.9 73.2 6190.5 59.5
Aug-77 3729.8 5094.6 73.2 6354.7 58.7
Aug-78 3518.9 5045.3 69.7 6403.7 55.0
Aug-79 3664.3 5113.1 71.7 6456.0 56.8
Aug-80 3669.1 5251.1 69.9 6675.9 55.0
Aug-81 3671.0 5337.1 68.8 6774.3 54.2
Aug-82 3370.1 5285.9 63.8 6840.7 49.3
Aug-83 3266.2 5150.3 63.4 6927.9 47.1
Aug-84 3340.3 5318.8 62.8 7070.1 47.2
Aug-85 3262.1 5464.0 59.7 7248.3 45.0
Aug-86 3358.1 5608.8 59.9 7516.2 44.7
Aug-87 3447.4 5671.1 60.8 7694.4 44.8
Aug-88 3674.8 5874.6 62.6 7892.1 46.6
Aug-89 3857.8 6096.8 63.3 8183.7 47.1
Aug-90 3841.6 6141.6 62.6 8392.6 45.8
Aug-91 3590.2 5905.8 60.8 8428.1 42.6
Aug-92 3594.4 5752.2 62.5 8515.9 42.2
Aug-93 3654.9 5800.5 63.0 8537.0 42.8
Aug-94 3943.8 5961.7 66.2 8683.5 45.4
Aug-95 4012.5 6183.5 64.9 8939.6 44.9
Source: ABS Labour Force (Cat. No 6203)
Table 3 Weekly hours worked 1975-1995 Hours Worked by
Hours Male Married Friends Unmarried Female Total Female
Worked ----------------------- ----------------------- ----------------------- -----------------------
1975 1985 1995 1975 1985 1995 1975 1985 1995 1975 1985 1995
0 230713 206488 185706 103793 82950 105356 43877 48397 60553 147670 131347 165909
1-15 89471 144865 292022 197020 303813 398781 68557 148211 291906 265577 452024 690687
16-29 128704 249137 314938 221954 331202 483255 38848 115225 183440 260802 446427 666695
30-34 129622 334636 265289 103712 142047 187522 36386 100158 101146 140098 242205 288668
35-39 403636 721233 717577 184607 241245 357222 161023 243923 260524 345630 485168 617746
40 1602343 953951 844213 371245 214548 266987 285362 243325 189591 656607 457873 456578
41-44 188705 253750 264039 33811 43266 85939 29562 54489 67972 63373 97755 153911
45-48 321962 385795 474631 26317 51799 102855 21915 46328 76481 48232 98127 179336
49+ 725470 861237 1314044 61180 97835 205647 31505 55757 120090 92685 153592 325737
TOTAL 3820626 4111092 4672459 1303639 1508705 2193564 717035 1055813 1351703 2020674 2564518 3545267
% Hours Worked by Employed Persons
Hours Male Married Friends Unmarried Female Total Female
Worked ---------------------- ---------------------- ---------------------- ----------------------
Aug-75 Aug-85 Aug-95 Aug-75 Aug-85 Aug-95 Aug-75 Aug-85 Aug-95 Aug-75 Aug-85 Aug-95
0 6 5 4 8 5.5 4.8 6.1 4.6 4.5 7.3 5.1 4.7
1-15 2.3 3.5 6.2 15.1 20.1 18.2 9.6 14 21.6 13.1 17.6 19.5
16-29 3.4 6.1 6.7 17 22 22 5.4 10.9 13.6 12.9 17.4 18.8
30-34 3.4 8.1 5.7 8 9.4 8.5 5.1 9.5 7.5 6.9 9.4 8.1
35-39 10.6 17.5 15.4 14.2 16 16.3 22.5 23.1 19.3 17.1 18.9 17.4
40 41.9 23.2 18.1 28.5 14.2 12.2 39.8 23 14 32.5 17.9 12.9
41-44 4.9 6.2 5.7 2.6 2.9 3.9 4.1 5.2 5 3.1 3.8 4.3
45-48 8.4 9.4 10.2 2 3.4 4.7 3.1 4.4 5.7 2.4 3.8 5.1
49+ 19 20.9 28.1 4.7 6.5 9.4 4.4 5.3 8.9 4.6 6 9.2
TOTAL 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Source: ABS, The Labour Force (Cat. No. 6203.0)
What is striking from Table 3 is the dramatic departure from the
forty hour week for both males and females over a twenty year
period and for males at least, it would be difficult to explain
this change solely by the introduction of the thirty eight hour
week. It would be important to look at how the composition of the
workforce has changed, particularly with the growing proportion of
managerial and professionals over the period. A proportion of the
slippage has gone into that sector working forty five hours or
more, but there has also been slippage toward more people working
less than forty hours. Wooden discounts the possibility that the
growth in the number of males and females working excessive hours
can be explained by people working more than one job. While this
has occurred, he calculates that the practice would account for
little more than a fifth of the growth (over 1982-1992) of
full-time people working more than forty hours per week (23).
The proportion of professionals working more than forty nine
hours per week is reported to have risen from nineteen per cent in
1986 to 26.7 per cent in 1994 (24). Probert, refers to social
perceptions which require people with higher status jobs to work
very long hours with attendance at meetings at either 7.00 am or
7.00 pm expected. Those in lower status jobs are expected to make
themselves 'available' at non-social hours-a particular feature of
employment in tourism and retail sectors (25).
Freeland, Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), argues
that Australia is currently at an historically high level of paid
employment and that this has come about by more people
participating in paid work (26). Freeland argues that to understand
the level of 'high' employment, it is useful to calculate the
number of hours worked (full-time and part-time) across the working
age population. On this basis, he shows that each individual of
working age 'worked' an average of ten hours in 1966 and 12.5 hours
in 1991. Australians have never been more employed-at least as far
as paid employment is concerned. Meanwhile male participation in
the labour force has fallen while women's employment has risen
strongly and is now at a plateau. Freeland and other researchers
argue that we need to redefine 'work', and respond to the
redistribution of work which has occurred.
There are additional features of modern work arrangements which
belie the trend of the reduction in working hours. There is the
problem for many workers of the time taken to travel to and from
work which can add considerable hours to the daily work routine.
These demands no doubt add to the perception of Australians that
they feel that they are overworked. This perception is borne out in
a survey on work and leisure conducted by Mackay Research. It
reported that most respondents preferred 'a bit less work' than at
present and that most responders sought to get the 'balance'
between work and leisure right. Survey comments included:
I have never worked so hard in my life. There have been a lot of
retrenchments at work, and everyone knows that they have to put
their heads down and get on with it and,
No-one ever died saying 'I wish I'd spent more time at the
office'. I believe that, but it is amazing how you can get involved
in a job and then suddenly find you haven't spent any time with the
kids for weeks (27).
This Mackay report found that most respondents did not welcome
the idea of working a four day week:
Given the widespread belief that there is not for the time
being, enough work to go round, is there, perhaps, some readiness
in the community to accept a radical redeployment (for example in
the form of a shift to shorter working hours)? The answer to that
question appeared to be a resounding "no".
An explanation for the apparent spread of hours worked away from
the standard working week has been raised by Tracy and Lever-Tracy.
It concludes that the overall trends are towards shorter standard
weekly hours arrangements and shorter annual and lifelong
worktimes. Within these trends are elements of polarised and
redistributed work reductions. Polarised reductions means an
increase in work hours for some with an absence of work altogether
for others. For males, work distribution is more markedly
polarised, i.e. many working long hours but other males are
unemployed Women have done better at redistributing their paid
employment hours, thus keeping more women in paid work (28).
Nonetheless there does appear evidence of stress from long working
hours for those in paid employment.
One response by workers to longer working hours might be to put
working hours on the industrial agenda of enterprise agreements. A
DIR report on enterprise bargaining (required under federal
legislation to be presented to Parliament annually)) attests to the
managerial preoccupation of adjusting working hours to 'suit' their
enterprise. The report reviews the 1 360 federal agreements
registered in the twelve months to April 1995. It claims
By far the most common employment condition provision included
in ... agreements was the issue of hours of work. This provision
was included in 68 per cent of (Part V1B) agreements ... The
incidence of different initiatives categorised under the broad
heading of hours worked varied, with the most common provisions
relating to rostered days off ... and span of hours. Most of the
hours of work provisions appear to have concentrated on providing
employers with greater numerical flexibility, although they have
also provided improvements in administrative efficiency (29).
Another analysis by DIR of the 4 996 agreements contained on its
database (i.e. including those operating before April 1994)
prepared for this paper (table below), shows that the issues of
part-time and casual work are being included in agreements, but the
more 'liberating' arrangements such as telework or job sharing are
much less a feature (although one large industry, the banking
industry, is pursuing job share arrangements and the low number of
job share provisions in agreements possibly misrepresents the
position where thousands of employees may have access to these
Table 4 New time arrangements in certified and other
agreements recorded by the Department of Industrial Relations'
All Agreements 4996 Proportion %
Part-time 666 13.3
Casual 1215 24.32
Home based work 24 0.48
Job share 62 1.24
Flexible working hours 1157 23.16
RDOs 1919 38.41
(Source: Evaluation of contents of agreements contained the DIR
database, as at September 1995, provided by DIR for this paper)
This information does not allow a qualitative assessment to be
made of these working time arrangements, but their appearance in
agreements is some indication of the priority of the parties toward
Leave issues are on the industrial agenda. The family leave case
has been before the AIRC, with a decision given in 1994 (30). This
allowed private sector employees under federal awards access to
their sick leave to care for family members. It also allowed
facilitative clauses to be inserted into awards providing access to
part of annual leave so the employee could use the time to care for
family members. Unions sought to aggregate certain award provisions
which allow access to leave (other than annual and long service
leave) into a block and five days of which can be taken depending
upon the particular contingency. Bereavement leave, which is
usually an entitlement of two to three days per year, remains
dormant for most workers for most years. A decision by the AIRC on
28 November 1995 substantially granted the ACTU's claim (31).
The working hours debate received a strong impetus after an
agreement to reduce hours was signed between the Volkswagen (VW)
auto company and its workforce in 1993. Researchers such as Jens
Bastian accord much significance to the VW agreement since it marks
an important concession from the unions: namely for job sharing to
work unions cannot claim increased wages for the lost time (32).
Also important is the European Working Time Directive which is
reproduced as Appendix 3. The importance of this directive is that
it tries to set a limit of forty eight hours per week of paid work.
The following summary of international working arrangement rules
and options is taken from the OECD and ILO reports cited
Hours of work of part-time workers in Denmark
are a minimum fifteen hours per week and a maximum of thirty hours.
In Belgium minimum weekly working hours for
part-time workers are a third of the weekly working hours for
full-time workers. Overtime hours are all those performed by the
part-time worker above the hours set out in the work schedule.
Part-time workers in Belgium have priority for full-time employment
with the same employer. The maximum daily hours are ten and the
maximum weekly hours are fifty. Overtime is compensated for by
giving half-days or full days off. Over a three-month period, the
average working time must correspond to the hours set out in the
France has less jobs being created than other
economically comparable countries with similar growth rates.
Agreement has been reached between the major employers' group
Patronat and four large unions to commence to cut the five
day-thirty nine hour week to four days and thirty three hours. It
is hoped that 300 000 to 400 000 jobs can be created over 1996-97.
This will include a cut of 50 per cent on employers' social
security contribution with each new job created, or for each
permanent job converted from a full-time job if this means an
additional job is created (33). Also, French employers are relaxing
their opposition to working time reduction, but seek that over the
course of a year overtime compensation should take the form of time
in lieu for the first 100 hours (34). The application of these
principles is to be applied on an enterprise basis.
nency for part-time employment. It hopes for the creation of 2
The Netherlands all new positions in the public
sector are limited to a maximum thirty two hour week. It did
experience a 30 per cent rise in employment between 1983 and 1991,
along with a 13 per cent reduction in hours worked per person.
Switzerland in mechanical engineering, an
industry arrangement recently concluded allows contractual work
time of forty hours per week, but a 'flexi-year' can be introduced.
The length of the working week can fluctuate between thirty and
forty five hours, provided that over one year, actual hours
coincide with contracted hours. plus a maximum of forty hours can
be carried over from one year to the next (35). This arrangement is
now spreading to other sectors such as construction textiles, watch
manufacturing and furniture. Overtime only paid when the upper
limit on the bandwith is exceeded.
employers associations and unions as a 'means of increasing the
number of people who retain a solid labour force attachment'
The German Government has also encouraged the use of part-time
work in a policy approach of June 1994. It is based on the belief
- there is widespread prejudice by employers against part-time
- there is demand for part-time employment from employees
- administrative and production structures are too inflexible to
take full advantage of part-time employment.
Research commissioned by the Government suggests about two
million in full-time jobs are willing to convert to part-time.
Research undertaken at the Government's request by McKinsey and Co.
suggests there to be an initial increase in costs from a conversion
of full-time jobs, but offset by better morale and attendance,
equal to between to 2 and 4 per cent of labour costs. The program
seeks to convert 60 per cent of full-time jobs in Germany to less
than full-time arrangements (37).
nd central Europe, processes of economic restructuring are now
underway that are very likely to result in greater flexibility in
labour legislation. Thus far, most of the changes are still in the
planning stage. An example of the likely outcomes is the Czech
legislation on flexitime. While it is more flexible than the
existing law, limits are placed on the form of the schemes that may
In the US there has been little reduction in
actual hours of work in industry since 1960. The types of working
time arrangements that are found reflect this: they are less
comprehensive and less connected to the organisation of work.
However, the relatively flexible legislation that has been in force
for many years, together with the interests of individuals in more
flexible and (sometimes) in shorter hours, have led to the
development of novel working time practices.
Japanese practices are quite different from
those of other highly industrialised countries. The long hours of
work found in Japan and the fact that they have not declined since
1975 are very important. The working time arrangements in Japan
tend toward being more rigid. It is also difficult to decouple
these working hours arrangements in Japan from the system of
life-time employment. However government policy is to reduce
average hours from the early 1990s average of 2 050 to 1 806 by the
year 2010 (38).
Some reports show that new time arrangements have warded off the
threat of redundancies or created new jobs. The ILO reports that
some experiments have generated employment. It cites, for example,
a French company which increased the number of its workers by 25
per cent, a British car manufacturer recruited 1 200 new workers,
and two German car producers hired 900 and 1 200 more workers
respectively after flexible working time practices were adopted.
These achievements aside, the ILO is also aware that the potential
employment benefit resulting from these arrangements is 'highly
Will there be a broad demand for universal reduction in hours
again? Bastian, amongst other researchers, suggests not, at least
not while income levels are not reduced on a pro rata basis (40).
The OECD suggests that more consideration is likely to be given to
flexible hours rather than an across the board reduction.
Bastian argues that there is a growing understanding on the part
of employees, and increasingly unions, that work-sharing means
pay-sharing and must not be allowed to increase unit labour costs.
But as an offset, a decade of growing incomes for most of those in
employment in Europe and other countries, increased the numbers of
employees who are sufficiently well paid to countenance a tradeoff
between pay and working time.
Work sharing is popular because it goes with the grain of more
flexible and family friendly working hours. However, the working
hours redistribution system hinges on workers' preferences and
living standards, and while VW did cut hours leaving many of its
workforce unhappy with shorter hours and less pay, Nissan workers
in the UK preferred to keep their hours and pay, with a number
being offered redundancy (41).
Olmsted and Smith acknowledge that the 1990-93 recession in the
US was not conducive to experimentation with hours due to a focus
on downsizing and consequent loss of interest in work sharing. They
also quote an American Management Survey 1993 which criticised the
Fewer than half the firms that have downsized since January 1988
report that profits increased after the cuts were made, and only a
third reported increases in productivity. Almost invariably worker
morale suffered As organisations reach the limit of their cutbacks,
and understaffing begins to be recognised as a critical issue, the
desire to relieve employee stress and retain skills may provide a
revived interest in worksharing (42).
In Australia, the case for work sharing has been promoted by the
former NSW Coalition Government, while John Langmore MP and John
Quiggin have put the case for humanising work through shorter
working hours (43).
There are those who doubt the potential of work redistribution.
The Hon. Barry Jones MP has agreed that job sharing may be suitable
for some workers, and while work can be redistributed with more
workers working less hours, 'it rarely works out like that' (44).
Sloan is also critical of job sharing on two grounds: one objection
arises if workers demand shorter hours without accepting lower
pay-'this is unambiguously adverse' since it drives up labour
costs. But where workers do accept a cut in income for working
fewer hours, the uptake in employment is not certain since the
'employed have different characteristics to unemployed ' (45).
Wooden also argues against the mathematical approach which
attempts to redistribute excessive, usually overtime, hours. Many
of these hours are unpaid and, where they are paid, the
distribution of overtime across a large number of small firms would
not be enough to create just one full time job of forty hours, he
suggests (46). Wooden does allow for the possibility that there may
be some improvement in the productivity of firms due to reduced
boredom and fatigue in the workforce, but taking up the unemployed
may mean taking up poorer quality labour. Also, the publicised
attempts to save jobs by cutting hours (e.g. the VW approach)
appear to target those who are not already working excessive hours.
In other words reducing the hours of those working say a 38 hour
week, while not targeting those working more than 48 hours.
Finally, the Commission on Employment Opportunities commissioned
by the Prime Minister in 1993 to prepare the blueprint for the
Working Nation strategy, argued against schemes such as
work sharing and early retirement. It reported
The evidence to the Commission suggests that while these sorts
of approaches may in some cases increase employment in the
short-term they lead to a poorer long term employment result
primarily because they lower overall productivity levels, and
therefore per capita incomes ... This is not to deny that work
sharing in particular might have positive implications in some
individual cases when the people concerned are prepared to share
their incomes as well as their jobs. The evidence suggest, however,
that while there are some people in this category, the majority of
workers ... would increase their working hours (and their incomes)
if they could (47).
The evidence seems to suggest that reduced working hours are
more likely to be promoted during downturns and as an alternative
to retrenchment. The schemes operate heavily on individual
preference and circumstance and do not appear to be amenable to
regulation. The debate is obviously associated with quality of life
issues, and it would be fair to say that during the late 1980s
boom, quality of life issues gave ground to increasing consumption.
However, Probert is confident that the cause of redistributing work
can be established on the industrial agenda:
We can develop concrete proposals aimed at redistributing work
in a range of different ways appropriate to different industries -
from banning overtime to promoting flextime, and from pushing for
the right to a six hour day to establishing yearly banks of hours
as the basis for negotiation (48)
Enterprise bargaining may allow for the improvements in
productivity to be returned to the workforce through shorter hours
or enhanced leave entitlements. However staff often prefer the
income option in preference to leave or shorter hours and this has
also suited employers.
The AIRC is required to review federal awards to ensure that
they are relevant to industries' needs (49). The recent Family
Leave Test Case decisions recommended that unions and employers
address permanent part time arrangements with the aim of
encouraging less than full time employment practices by including
such provisions in awards (if the relevant award was silent on part
time employment). A mechanism to review part time work arrangements
is now in place with the major industrial tribunal. The Family
leave cases will no doubt be recognised in State industrial
jurisdictions. So, there are now processes being developed to
encourage the investigation of reduced hours for employees who seek
or require these.
The impediment to work redistribution appears to be employers'
perceptions that key staff who opt for leave or short time
arrangements lack commitment to the organisation, and this would
seem the most difficult obstacle to overcome since it will
determine preferences and practice. Firms are recognising the value
of trained employees and a number of enterprise agreements have
provided leave and time off options as means of recognising valued
staff and their domestic obligations. Overall, there would seem to
be limited opportunities to redistribute work to the degree
required to make an impact on unemployment.
The data on hours worked in Australia indicate a dispersion of
working hours away from the standard working week , both toward
shorter hours and excessive hours. The research on excessive hours
(more than 49 hours per week) suggests that much of this is unpaid
(ie not as overtime), making the task of redistribution that much
harder. In addition, where reduced hours have been used to stave
off retrenchment as in the VW Germany example, there is not clear
evidence that the employees were working 'excessive' hours. The
redistribution of hours has affected those working much closer to
standard weekly hours.
Nonetheless, the working hours debate opens opportunities for
reviewing the imperatives which underpin excessive hours. Even
where excessive hours worked are unpaid (ie, voluntary), should the
practices be condoned? Do such work demands coincide with a
balanced life and balanced domestic responsibilities? Possibly the
debate will be expressed in Australia through workforce pressures
to create national policy on working hours, most probably along the
lines of the European Working Time Directive, and may attempt to
set guidelines on limits on time worked on the basis of health and
safety and quality of life improvements and less so on employment
Flextime is the generic term for flexible
scheduling programs or work schedules that permit flexible starting
and quitting times within limits set by management.
The flexible periods are usually at either end of the day, with
a 'core time' set in the middle, during which all employees must be
present. The employer can adapt flextime to the organisation's
individual needs through the decisions made about such issues as 1)
whether flexibility is a daily or periodic choice; how core time is
defined and whether credit and debit hours and 'banking' of hours
According to Olmsted and Smith, flextime was the first major
divergence from the standardised forty-hour, 9-5 workweek. The
concept of allowing employees some individual choice in their
starting and quitting times was introduced in Germany in 1967. At
that time, it was seen as a means of relieving transit and
commuting time problems. Shortly thereafter, flextime began to gain
adherents in Switzerland as a way to attract women with family
responsibilities into the labor force. The Hewlett-Packard Company
is credited with introducing flextime in the US in 1972, after
having tried it first in a German division.
Flexplace is another term for:
telecommuting, working from home, satellite office
or telework . Its use is based on the growth of
personal computer use. It is dubbed the alternative lifestyle
method of work and allows management to decrease their
accommodation overheads while employees can escape the daily
commute. The US Federal Clean Air Act 1990 requires
employers of one hundred or more employees in designated badly
polluted region to design 'trip reduction programs'. One recognised
trip reduction program is the adoption of telecommuting
Permanent part-time (PPT) is part-time
employment that includes job security and all the other rights and
benefits available to an organisation's regular full-time workers
on a pro rata basis. Most countries have witnessed a growth in
part-time arrangements. PPT has become popular due to increased
participation of women in the workforce, the shift from production
based to service based manufacturing, and the increasing need of
workers for more personal time.
Compressed workweek refers to a (standard)
workweek that is condensed into fewer than five days, e.g. into
4x10 hour days, or 3x12 hour days, or the 9/80 format which allows
a day off once a fortnight. In the Australian construction industry
'shorter hours' were introduced through a form of this system which
facilitated the reduction of the forty hour week to thirty eight
hours, so gaining a rostered-day-off (RDO) once per fortnight. It
is said that the compressed work week can be used to attract labour
into otherwise unattractive shifts.
Job sharing is a form regular part-time work in
which two people voluntarily share the responsibilities of one
full-time position, with salary and benefits pro-rated. The term
covers a spectrum of shared responsibility ranging from jobs that
are essentially split between two people, requiring no, or very
little interaction, to jobs that must be shared collaboratively in
all aspects. At one end are job sharing receptionists or production
line workers, where the amount of sharing may be limited to
discussing the co-ordination of their schedules. At the other
extreme are occupations such as executive assistants, engineers or
marketing directors who often need to be interchangeable.
Work sharing is an alternative to retrenchment,
in which all or part of an organisation's workforce temporarily
reduces hours and salary in order to cut operating costs. It has a
long history in the US where state and federal legislation support
its use, and in some situations make work sharing mandatory. In
states where work sharing known as short time compensation
(STC) Legislation has been passed, the reduction in incomes can be
partly recompensed. An extract from US Department of Labor (DOL)
guidelines on STC is included in this paper as Appendix 4. STC
avoids the legal contest associated with mass redundancies. It is
also said to provide equity in the workplace since the opportunity
for cost saving through reduced working hours can be distributed
across a firm, whereas retrenchment more likely affects production
workers and is less likely to affect administrative staff.
V-time programs are a way to offer reduced work
time options to a broad base of employees in a way that integrates
part-time with full-time employment. V-time is a time/income
trade-off arrangement that allows full-time employees to reduce
work hours for a specified period of time with a corresponding
reduction in compensation. It differs from part-time employment as
there is usually a time limit designed for a return to full-time
Leave time is one V-time option. It is an
authorised period of time away from work without loss of employment
rights. This absence may be paid or unpaid and is usually extended
and taken for such reasons as family responsibilities, health care,
education and personal growth, or career breaks. Is usually linked
to periods of paid leave-can be for extended holidays or
The APS is experimenting with leave time arrangements such as
the 48/52 scheme which allows an employee to reduce their salaries
over a year by about seven per cent and so 'purchase' an additional
one months leave.
Phased and partial retirement: Phased
retirement is a way for individuals to retire gradually by reducing
their full-time employment commitment over a set period of years.
Partial retirement is a part-time employment arrangement in which
salary may or may not be combined with partial retirement income.
It has become relevant due to the cost of downsizing programs; the
spectre of employee shortages over future years, especially for
older workers with difficult to replace skills and can also create
options for younger employees.
Annual hours: This also is a system to allow
for a variety of both leave taking and hours working over the
course of a year. The move to annualised hours is said to have
started in Swedish and Finnish pulp and paper industry in 1970s. It
is most often used in continuous production industry; can be used
to bring on cultural change via adoption of a 'salaried'
perspective. It forces a redefinition of overtime.
Annualised salary is a variation of the annual
hours approach. In Australia, the best known experiment with
annualised salaries has been the ICI Botany plant, which introduced
annualised salaries, incorporating penalty and other allowances
into weekly or fortnightly pay (see Appendix 6 for a description of
the ICI approach to annualised salaries).
Timesharing: This arrangement allows one
individual works for more than one organisation on a regular
Twelve Hour Shifts (1990)
This code of conduct by the ACTU spells out that the
introduction of twelve-hour shifts should only be permitted where
there is a continuous work process or other special circumstances
can be shown to exist; where twelve-hour shift work will not impose
excessive physical or mental workload; where, after a proper
examination of the possible injurious effects to employee health
and social well-being, there are demonstrated benefits for the
workers concerned; after full consultation with union(s) and with
the support of at least two-thirds of workers affected; and in
conjunction with possibilities of reducing working time
The ACTU also insists that rosters must be developed in
consultation with employees through their unions, and provision
made for on-going consultation and resolution of disputes about the
rosters. It further suggests that the introduction of twelve-hour
shift work should be on a trial basis for twelve months to allow
workers to evaluate the changes.
To minimise the health and safety risks of twelve-hour shift
work, the ACTU also advises unions to negotiate measures, such as a
maximum of two night shifts in succession; at least a twelve-hour
interval between shifts; a short cycle period with regular
rotation; at least two free weekends each month; allowing workers
some flexibility about shift change times and shift length;
additional paid breaks and an extended rest period during night
shift; no overtime; special rosters for workers exposed to hazards,
where health and safety standards are determined on the basis of
exposure over eight hours; additional paid leave; early retirement
provisions; continued application of weekend and holiday premiums;
provision of adequate information on issues such as shift rosters,
rest, fatigue, etc.; provision of welfare facilities and services,
such as meals and drinks, transport services, rest areas and
recreational facilities, etc.; training of supervisors to increase
awareness of the special requirements of twelve-hour shift working;
provision of health services, including pre-placement health
examinations and periodic examinations afterwards and health
counselling; and the requirement for employers to take all
necessary steps to find suitable alternative employment for workers
who are unable to continue shift work for health reasons.
ACTU policy recommends that part-time work should be negotiated
on the basis of 'permanent' part-time work with pro-rata benefits,
in a controlled ,manner with a clear ratio of full-time to
part-time jobs; and that
Union organisation for part-time workers should involve:
- union collection of separate membership figures for full-time
and part-time workers
- recruitment to unions of part-time workers
- removal of barriers to union involvement for part-time
- negotiation of part-time work arrangements, and
- extension of all employment benefits to part-time workers
- casuals employed on a regular, long term basis for months or
years should not be casual, but 'permanent' employees
- casual employment should be limited to a short period of time
and used only for short-term, irregular , seasonal or emergency
The ACTU guidelines also recommend strategies to decasualise
workforces by using PPT work as a means to counter casual
employment, and using award provisions to limit the employment of
casuals to certain hours or for a limited period.
(Source: Flexible Working Time: Part-Time and Casual
Employment, DIR, 1992)
The Working Time Directive, adopted by a qualified majority vote
of the Social Affairs Council of the European Union Employment
Ministers on November 23, 1993 (to be implemented by November
1996), contains the following provisions for all workers:
- a maximum forty-eight hour week (including overtime) on an
average over four months
- eleven consecutive hours of rest per day
- thirty-five consecutive hours of rest per week, in principle
including Sundays, although this would not be mandatory. The weekly
rest periods could be averaged out over two weeks. The thirty-five
hours could be reduced to twenty-four for objective technical or
work organisation reasons
- rest break during the day for all workers working over six
hours and terms to be fixed by collective agreement or national
- four weeks' paid annual leave, subject to the conditions of
entitlement laid down by national law/practice. three weeks would
be permitted for the first three years after implementation of the
directive (that is, until 1999). Leave entitlements could not be
cashed in (except for outstanding leave on termination of
- work organisations to take into account health and safety and
The directive also includes special provisions for night workers
and modifications to the general rule for certain
industries/circumstances to allow them to deviate under specified
circumstances-for example, some kinds of seasonal work or
activities where a permanent presence is required or continuity of
production services is necessary. The details of these
modifications would be defined by national law or by collective
agreements at national, regional, or local levels as
In the future the concepts embodied in annual hours systems
would appear to be a promising area for employers seeking to move
beyond the programmatic use of flexibility towards more strategic
(Source: Olmsted, B. & Smith. S. Creating a Flexible
Workplace-How to Select & Manage Alternative Work Options
Highlights of the US Department of Labor guidelines (to State
- there must be a need for the workweek to be reduced at least 10
per cent before a request for STC can be considered
- STC benefits should be pro rata of regular unemployment
- employees should not be required to make themselves available
for other work or conduct a job search as a test of their
eligibility to collect benefits but are required to be available
for a normal work week
- the total reduction in hours under STC should be no greater
than the reduction in hours would have been had layoffs taken
- during the preceding four months, the employer's workforce must
not have been reduced by more than 10 per cent by layoffs
- the employer must continue to provide health and retirement
benefits as though the workweek had not been reduced.
- where the workforce is unionised, the union must consent to the
- 'Affected Unit' means a specified plant, department, shift. or
other definable unit consisting of not less than ( employees to
which an approved short-time compensation plan applies.
- 'Fringe Benefits' include, but are not limited to. such
advantages as health insurance (hospital, medical, and dental
services. etc.), retirement benefits under defined benefit pension
plans (as defined in Section 3(35) of the Employee Retirement
Income Security Act of 1974). paid vacation and holidays, sick
leave, etc., which are incidents of employment in addition to the
cash remuneration earned.
- 'Short-Time Compensation' or 'STC' means the unemployment
benefits payable to employees in an affected unit under an approved
short-lime compensation plan as distinguished from the unemployment
benefits otherwise payable under the conventional unemployment
compensation provisions of a State law.
- 'Short-Time Compensation Plan' means a plan of an employer (or
of an employers' association which association is a party to a
collective bargaining agreement) under which there is a reduction
in the number of hours worked by all employees of an affected unit
rather than temporary layoffs of some such employees. The term
'temporary layoffs' for this purpose means the separation of
workers in the affected unit for an indefinite period expected to
last for more than two months but not more than one year.
- 'Usual Weekly Hours of Work' means the normal hours of work for
full-time and PPT employees in the affected unit when that unit is
operating on its normally full-time basis, not to exceed forty
hours and not including overtime.
- 'Unemployment Compensation' means the unemployment benefits
payable under this Act other than short-time compensation and
includes any amounts payable pursuant to an agreement under any
Federal law providing for compensation, assistance, or allowances
with respect to unemployment.
- 'Employers' Association' means an association which is a party
to a collective bargaining agreement under which the parties may
negotiate a short-time compensation plan.
An employer or employers' association wishing to participate in
an STC program shall submit a signed written short-time
compensation plan to the Director for approval. The Director shall
approve an STC plan only if the following criteria are met.
- The plan applies to and identifies specified affected
- The employees in the affected unit or units are identified by
name, social security number and by any other information required
by the Director.
- The usual weekly hours of work for employees in the affected
unit or units are reduced by not less than 10 percent and not more
than ( percent.
- Health benefits and retirement benefits under defined benefit
pension plans (as defined in Section 3(35) of the Employee
Retirement Income Security Act of 1974), will continue to be
provided to employees in affected units as though their work weeks
had not been reduced.
- The plan certifies that the aggregate reduction in work hours
is in lieu of temporary layoffs which would have affected at least
10 percent of the employees in the affected unit or units to which
the plan applies and which would have resulted in an equivalent
reduction in work hours.
- During the previous four months the work force in the affected
unit has not been reduced by temporary layoffs of more than 10
percent of the workers.
- The plan applies to at least 10 percent of the employees in the
affected unit, and when applicable applies to all employees of the
affected unit equally.
- In the case of employees represented by an exclusive bargaining
representative, the plan is approved in writing by the collective
bargaining agent; in the absence of such an agent, by
representatives of the employees in the affected unit.
- The plan will not serve as a subsidy of seasonal employment
during the off season, nor as a subsidy of temporary part-time or
- The employer agrees to furnish reports relating to the proper
conduct of the plan and agrees to allow the Director of his/her
authorised representatives access to all records necessary to
verify the plan prior to approval and, after approval to monitor
and evaluate application of the plan.
(Source: Olmsted, B. and Smith, S. Creating a Flexible
Workplace-How to Select and Manage Alternative Work Options,
AMACON,1994: 333 et seq.)
- Work is re-routed to other departmental employees.
- A replacement from within the company is obtained on a
- A replacement from outside the company is hired on a temporary
- Only urgent work is rerouted to other employees, with the
remainder of the work held for the leave-takers return.
- Work is forwarded to the leave-taker at home.
- A permanent replacement is obtained, and the leave-taker is
transferred to another job.
- A permanent new replacement is hired.
(Source: Olmsted, B. and Smith, S. Creating a Flexible
Workplace-How to Select and Manage Alternative Work Options,
This summary outlines the 'annualised salary' arrangements under
the Metal Trades ICI Botany Agreement negotiated with the Metals
and Engineering Workers Union (MEWU) and Federation of Industrial
Manufacturing and Engineering Employees (FIMEE).
This s.115 agreement and three others assisted in achieving a
dramatic turnaround in performance, profitability and employee
morale. There is now one s.134C site agreement incorporating all
unions at ICI Botany.
ICI Botany first started turning its operations around in 1986
through a Green Paper (developed solely by management) outlining a
log of claims by management aimed at removing a number of negative
workplace practices that emerged over the last thirty years.
In early 1988 meaningful consultations with the workforce about
their vision for the future took place. Needs identified by the
parties included an improved organisational structure, greater
reliability and precision in the making of the product, improved
service and innovation, and an appropriately multiskilled
The need for real change saw changes in the way people worked,
rather than a new form of words, as the key outcome. This was
reflected in the three years taken to develop new work
organisations and put appropriate training programs in place which
The Agreement was negotiated with the MEWU and FIMEE. The
Agreement was negotiated as a Certified Agreement under the former
Section 115 of the Industrial Relations Act ('the Act'),
and certified by the Commission on 18 November 1991 to expire on 29
January 1992 to bring it in line with the expiry dates of the other
Under the Agreement former weekly wage rates have been
renegotiated into a composite annualised salary based on a
previously developed formula (see below).
Employees are paid an all-inclusive annualised salary which
includes base salary, overtime, call ins and all other allowances
and shift premiums associated with the conditions of employment
under the Agreement.
This annualised salary is based on averaged overtime levels over
the previous three years. In the event that overtime levels are
reduced, the Agreement provides that salary levels will be
Salary adjustments are granted on attainment and successful
assessment of agreed skill levels in the career structure.
Flexible working hours are provided for permanent employees and
casuals employed either 'part-time' (employed one day to three
months) or temporaries' (in excess of three months).
The parties mutually agree on the hours of work having regard to
business needs and provided that an average of thirty eight hours
per week is worked. In ensuring 24 hour plant coverage employees
maintain their own workgroup rosters and cover any absences within
their workgroup having regard to safety and statutory requirements.
Agreed work-force levels are maintained during the life of the
No employee will be required to work more than sixteen hours per
twenty four-hour period with a ten-hour break allowed between work
completion and commencement time.
Meal breaks are to be determined by the workgroup and may be
staggered to meet the needs of the business.
Plant shutdowns have been included in the salary formation, but
do not attract any additional overtime payments.
As penalty rates are included in the annualised salary,
employees are only entitled to one day off for each day worked. All
statutory public holidays are observed with the proviso that
employees working on any public holiday shall receive an
alternative day off as agreed by their workgroup.
For employees remaining in employment, accrued annual leave,
long service leave and leave loading are paid at the annualised
rate. Employees leaving of their own volition are not entitled to
payment at the annualised rate except when they die or leave for
reasons of retirement, voluntary retrenchment, or retirement due to
Annual leave loading is paid in full in December of each year.
As a transitional arrangement outstanding annual leave loading
(based on pre-existing base rates) was paid to employees over a
maximum period of six months to minimise the cash flow impact. Any
leave loading under the new Agreement is paid at the annualised
Maternity, paternity and adoption leave are covered by the
Agreement. Annual leave is based on the Metal Industry
Award standard. Long service leave applies as per the NSW
Long Service Leave Act of 1955.
An example of the substantial improvements in productivity
involves the Botany Propathene Plant which last year (1991) cut its
first-run reject rate (that requiring reworking or discarding of
poor quality output) from 16 to 4 per cent.
(On 3 September 1992 Commissioner Johnson of the AIRC ratified a
s.134C agreement at ICI Botany covering all unionised employees
(FIMEE, MEWU and Electrical Trades Union).
Calculating the Annualised Salary of an ICI Engineering
Technician Level 1
- The base weekly rate is determined from the relevant MTIA award
for a fitter. This rate includes a supplementary payment and a
trade tool allowance
- To this base rate add site allowances such as the Chemical
Industry Special Rates Allowance, Availability Allowance, Laundry
Allowance, Site Tool Allowance, Post Trade Training Allowance. Also
add the 2nd instalment of the Structural Efficiency round and the
ICI productivity allowance.
- Determine a weekly value for periodic payments associated with
former shift and overtime arrangements including: Meal Allowance,
Travel Allowance (Call-ins), First-Aid Allowance, Confined Space
Allowance, Dirt Allowance. Reduce this to an hourly rate.
- To the rate determined in point 2, add an average overtime
period of 8.4 hours per week at a 1.8 hourly loading rate (which
adds the $ equivalent of 15 hours work).
The final salary will comprise the values of 2+3+4 , ie the
revised base rate including regular allowances, a value for
periodic allowances, a shift/overtime component and the weekly rate
for these can be multiplied by 52 to derive the annual salary.
(Source: Making Time, Flexibility in the Workplace,
The Sheraton Towers Southgate Employee Relations
Agreement 1992 was negotiated with the then Federated Liquor
and Allied Industries Employees Union at the company's new
establishment in Melbourne.
The Agreement utilised the recent amendments to Division 3A of
the Industrial Relations Act which are specifically
designed to assist parties in registering enterprise agreements.
Signed on 23 July 1992, the Agreement covers 300 permanent
full-time and PPT employees and is effective for a period of twelve
months. The parties anticipate that the next agreement will last
for twenty four months.
The Agreement operates in lieu of the parent award, the
Hotels, Resorts and Hospitality Industry Award (1990)
('the Hotels Award'). The Hotels Award was restructured to provide
greater flexibility, including alternative arrangements for penalty
A key feature of the Agreement is its emphasis on dealing with
the issue of penalty rates and working time flexibility, which Is a
major issue within the twenty four-hour day/seven day week
Sheraton has not approached the penalty rates/working-time
flexibility issue in a negative cost cutting manner, but has
consulted with the union and employees in order to address the
issue as part of a broad process of workplace reform, as evidenced
in the Agreement outlined below.
Flexible working hours are provided for full-time and part-time
employees through the following means.
Full-time employees' ordinary hours are 152 hours in any four
week cycle; providing:
- ordinary hours are between six and ten hours on any given day,
before overtime becomes applicable, provided they are part of the
monthly roster; employees are entitled to eight RDO per four-week
cycle, not necessarily on weekends; and
- if necessary, employees may work up to ten days in succession
PPT employees' ordinary hours of work provide for a minimum of
forty eight hours and a maximum of 128 hours in any four-week
cycle; with between three and ten hours to be worked on any given
Rotating monthly rosters, covering all hours in which the
premises operates, are posted on a monthly basis with employees
informed in writing at least one days prior to the commencement of
each month. However the roster may be altered by mutual consent at
any time or by amendment to the roster provided no less than seven
days' notice is given.
All time worked in excess of or outside ordinary rostered hours
is considered overtime and is paid at overtime rates. However at
the instigation of the employee there may be an agreement in
writing between the employer and the employee to take time off with
pay equivalent to the amount for which payment would otherwise have
been received. Overtime is allocated according to the company's
needs and shared among employees as far as possible.
The additional cost of employing staff on public holidays is
offset by granting the employee a day off in lieu of additional
payment or a day with pay can be added to their annual leave
The issue of penalty rates has been addressed by incorporating
them into a loaded-base hourly rate. Included in the base rate are
the following penalties contained in the Hotels Award $1.03 premium
for every hour or part thereof before 7 am and after 7 pm (Monday
50 per cent loading for work performed on Saturday;
75 per cent loading for work performed on Sunday (100 per cent
loading for employees handling alcohol); and
150 per cent loading for all time worked on public holidays.
A new four level classification structure has been introduced to
replace the classifications contained in the Hotels Award. The new
salaries are based on the highest total remuneration paid for the
traditional positions within each new level. For part-time
employees the calculation includes the 10 per cent premium existing
under the Hotels Award.
After nine months employee earnings under the Agreement will be
compared with what each employee would have earned under the Hotels
Award. If employees earn less under the new annualised salaries
arrangements, the company will make up the shortfall. Three months
later a further audit will be conducted to compare what each
employee has earned during this period with their earnings for the
previous nine months.
Special rates and disability allowances for working under
particular conditions or performing certain tasks are not a feature
of the Agreement. The weekly remuneration comprehends all relevant
Much of the flexibility achieved by the Sheraton agreement is
also available under the Hotels Award. Many of these arrangements
are available in the Hotels Award if agreement is reached between
employer and employees.
With the flexible working arrangements available in the
Agreement the need for casual labour is greatly reduced. In fact
the Agreement states that: 'Except in exceptional circumstances,
there will be no positions offered to casual employees'. The result
is greater job security for employees, and reduced training and
administrative costs for the Company.
Contractors and sub-contractors may be used to carry out work on
the premises from time to time, although for any work carried out
in the context of the Agreement the contractor must observe the
Hotels Award conditions of employment.
The Agreement has a four level classification structure with
each level receiving unique development and training opportunities
consistent with the objectives of employee empowerment and job
enrichment. The classification structure provides that:
level 1 staff members are rostered to allow for rotation across
all work areas in order to provide diversified work experience and
on-the job training;
level 2 allows increased scope for decision making and autonomy
in all work areas and also provides for job rotation;
level 3 staff are trained to be capable of on-the-job training
and supervision of level 1 and level 2 employees; and
level 4 staff are given the skills to be able to be accountable
for the quality of all work performed within their areas and also
to be capable of supervising other work areas.
The four level classification structure has a number of
advantages including reduced administrative costs, reduced
demarcation disputes, cross-task flexibility through multiskilling,
and greater flexibility to replace short-term absences.
Multiskilled employees with greater career prospects and increased
job satisfaction are of greater value to the Company leading to a
more efficient and competitive workplace. The system of
remuneration will reinforce this emphasis on multiskilling. The
broadbanded structure provides increased flexibility by reducing
the need to hire additional staff or pay employees different rates
on the one day for working in higher classifications.
A skills development career structure will apply. For an
employee to achieve promotion they must reach the clearly defined
competencies and skills for each level. Following this, however,
actual progression to any vacancy in higher levels is merit
A Consultative Committee comprising representatives from
management and line staff has been established with the objectives
of increasing employee contributions to the decision making
process; to focus attention on the requirements of customers and
the needs of employees; and to improve efficiency.
New broadbanded four-level classification structure established
in the Agreement 'level one' contains the following rates
calculated for all traditional positions within each level,
Guest Services 1 $326.00;
Kitchen Attendant 1 $326.00;
Guest Services 2 $338.10
Kitchen Attendant 2 $340.30.
From these rates the highest annual salary of all traditional
positions within each level ($340.30 for level one) has been taken
as the determined minimum for the actual annualised/loaded hourly
$340.30 x 52 weeks = $17 695.60; then a loading for penalties
(approx 20.54 per cent) has been added to provide an annual salary
of $21 330, an hourly rate of $10.79 based on a 52-week year and a
38-hour week has also been determined.
The annualised salary covers the following relevant penalties
from the Hotels, Resorts and Hospitality Industry Award (1990) (the
Premium of $1.03 for every hour or part thereof before 7:00am
7:00pm (Monday to Friday), with a minimum payment of S1.57 for
any one day;
50 per cent loading for work performed on Saturday;
75 per cent loading for work performed on Sunday (unless
handling alcohol in which case there is a 100 per cent loading);
150 per cent loading for all time worked on public holidays.
Following nine months of the Agreement, or upon termination of
an employee, the company will conduct an audit to ensure the
annualised/loaded hourly salary paid under paragraph 1 for an
employee's rostered hours is not less than that which the employee
would have been entitled to under the Hotels Award for the same
rostered hours. This calculation includes the 10 per cent premium
existing under the Hotels Award for part-time employees.
(Source: MakingTime, Flexibility in the Workplace, DIR,
- OECD, Flexible Working Time, Collective Bargaining and
Government Intervention, OECD, 1995.
- 'Synthesis Report' in OECD 1995:18.
- See Romeyn, J. Flexible Working-Time: Fixed Term and Temporary
Employment DIR, 1994: 7-10.
- Hewiit, P. About Time, The Revolution in Work and Family Life,
Oram Press, London, 1993:2.
- Probert, B. Part-Time Work and Managerial Strategy:
'Flexibility' in the New Industrial Relations Framework, Department
of Employment, Education and Training, 1995: 11.
- Hensher, D. Battellino, H. & Mackay,A. 'On the Road to
Flexible Working Times', Policy, Summer 1994-95.
- OECD,OECD Societies in Transition: The Future of Work and
Leisure, OECD, 1994: 14.
- International Labour Organisation, The Hours We Work: New Work
Schedules in Policy and Practice, Conditions of Work Digest, v.2,
- OECD 1995: 19-20.
- Dr Stanley Nollard quoted in Olmsted and Smith: 94.
- OECD 1995: 22
- 'The Myth of the Electronic Outworker' , The Australian
Financial Review, 6 July 1995.
- Olmsted and Smith: 22.
- OECD 1995: 13-14.
- ibid.: 21.
- ibid: 12.
- Romeyn, J. Flexible Working Time: Part-Time and Casual
Employment DIR 1992: 7.
- ABS Weekly Earnings of Employees Cat.No.6310.
- Keily, J. Making Time, Flexibility in the Workplace, DIR
October 1992: vi.
- Report of the Inquiry into the Workforce of the Future, House
of Representatives Standing Committee for Long Term Strategies,
- Probert,B. Part-Time Work and Manageial Strategy:'Flexibility'
in the New Industrial Relations Framework, Department of Employment
Education and Training, 1995: 33.
- ABS, Labour Force Cat.No. 6203, January 1996.
- Wooden, M. 'Overemployment, Unemployment and the Work Sharing
Debate' in Australian Bulletin of Labour, December 199: 325.
- 'High Fliers Work Longer Stay Later', The Weekend Australian,
17 June 1995.
- Freeland, J. 'Reconceptualising Work, Full Employment and
Incomes Policies', The Future of Work, Australian Council of Social
- 'Work and Leisure', The Mackay Report, Mackay Research, March
- Tracy, N. & Lever–Tracy, C. 'The Longer Working Week
in Australia—Working Time Experiences and Preferences of
men', Labour and Industry, v.4,n. March 1991.
- DIR, Annual Report 1994, Enterprise Bargaining in
Australia—Developments under the Industrial Relations Reform
Act, AGPS, 1995: 144.
- AIRC Print L6900, 29 November 1994.
- AIRC, Print M6700, 28 November 1995.
- Bastian, J. 'Work Sharing: the Reappearance of a Timely Idea',
Political Quarterly, v.65, n.3, July/September 1994.
- International Labour Review v.132, n.3, 1993: 293.
- European Industrial Relations Review v.257, June 1995.
- ibid, v.258, July 1995.
- Olmsted and Smith: 339.
- 'Government Launches Part–Time Work Initiative', European
Industrial Relations Review v.247, August 1994.
- OECD 1994: 14.
- ILO, 1990: 8.
- cf fn 27.
- 'The Case for Work Sharing', The Financial Times, 24 November
- Olmsted and Smith: 336.
- Langmore, J. and Quiggin, J. Work for All, Full Employment in
the Nineties Melbourne University Press, 1994.
- Jones, B. 'Will the Future Work', Australian Business Monthly,
- 'Job Sharing is not the Answer', The Australian Financial
Review, 2 April 1993.
- Wooden, M, loc. cit.: 318.
- Committee on Employment Opportunities, Restoring Full
Employment: A Discussion Paper AGPS, 1993: 69.
- Probert, B. 'The Over-worked and the Out of Work:
Redistributing Paid Work, Unpaid Work and Free Time' in The future
of work, Australian Council of Social Service, 1993: 38.
- Industrial Relations Act 1988, s.150A.
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