Work Reform and Productivity Unit
Economics & Deregulation / Work Reform and Productivity Unit
The Institute of Public Affairs Work Reform and Productivity Unit examines workplace relations issues. The Unit looks at how laws and social attitudes impact the ability of managers to run businesses and maximise employment opportunities. The Work Reform and Productivity Unit looks at workplace occupational health and safety issues, union activity in industrial sectors, skilled immigration, and the rise of the independent contractor.
What are the basic principles of work safety in law and in practice? The Work Reform and Productivity Unit grounds the study of occupational health and safety legal regimes from a position of individual responsiblity and freedom of contract. For an introduction, see Workplace Health and Safety. The seminal IPA report The Politics of a Tragedy: The Gretley Mine Disaster and NSW OHS examines how the Gretley coal mining disaster triggered the introduction of Australia's worst OHS laws in NSW. More Work Safety publications.
The Australian construction sector
The Work Reform and Productivity Unit has a special focus on examining the market-corrupting practices endemic in the construction sector, and looking at the impact of the legal reforms of 2006-07 that focused on cleaning out much of that corruption. See for instance Anatomy of the Screw and Industrial Relations and the Struggle to Build in Victoria.
The Work Reform held a major conference on construction industry reforms in 2007. Papers from the conference are available here.
Capacity to manage index: the Work Reform and Productivity Unit has rated over 250 industrial instruments and their impact on managerial capacity in a wide variety of industries. See Capacity to Manage Reports.
The state of the food manufacturing sector: studies uncovering some key reasons why the Australian food manufacturing sector is underperforming. See Food Manufacturing Facing the Wall and Take Away Take Away.
Outworking: the unusually high industrial relations regulation of the clothing manufacturing sector, allegedly introduced to protect outworkers, has in fact damaged some of the most vulnerable workers in Australia. See Why Has the Arse Fallen Out of the Clothing Manufacturing Industry? and Outworkers Speak Out.
Casual Employment: the Work Reform held a conference on casual employment in 2004. Discussion papers from the conference are available here.
Industrial Relations and Trade Practices Law: The Work Reform and Productivity Unit held two conferences in 2003 and 2004 on how trade practices legislation could and should impact industrial relations. Papers from the conferences are avialable here: Trade Practices vs Industrial Relations: Balancing the Acts (2004) and The Last Frontier: Making Industrial Relations Subject to the TPA (2003).
Sub-topics of Work Reform and Productivity Unit
The Victorian government is to be commended for enforcing its building industry code of conduct. The decision to ban Lend Lease from tendering for...
A clear failing of the Gillard government's fair work system is increased industrial action and union militancy. Australian Bureau of Statistics...
If the unions aren't careful Tony Abbott will be forced to do something about them. It will only take a few more violent protests on building sites...
Nothing scares the pigeons more than WorkChoices. Anyway, that's the theory. Just a hint of industrial relations reform (no matter how vague) by...
It's not quite going from the sublime to the ridiculous - but it's close. Two speeches have captured the national headlines over the past week....
Qantas announced changes to its aircraft maintenance arrangements yesterday. The result is 500 staff in Victoria will lose their jobs. The unions...
Inquiry into Fair Work (Registered organisations) Amendment (Towards Transparency) Bill 2012
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released quarterly data on industrial disputes for the September quarter 2012. "Industrial disputation in construction soared to an alarming level. Construction recorded 62.7 days lost to industrial...
The Automotive industry: Workplace relations impediments to its survival