Fair Work Act 2009 has contributed to the current stagnation of Australian wages
The wages of Australian workers have stagnated over the past several years. This has prompted a union campaign seeking to ‘change the rules’ by which wages are negotiated and settled, along with other terms and conditions of employment. Indeed, the continued stagnation of real wage growth has been forecasted by economic policy leaders as threatening the future economic wellbeing of the country. It is an issue that is likely to be one of the main areas of policy debate in the forthcoming federal election. Much of the discussion to this point in time has centred on the operation of the Fair Work Act 2009, which is seen as a primary contributor to the low growth in wages. At issue along these lines is the emphasis the Act places on enterprise bargaining, the restraint placed on trade unions and industrial action, the limitations imposed on industry and pattern bargaining, the requirements imposed on minimum wage determinations, the manner by which modern awards are administered, and the limited entitlements conferred casual and contract forms of employment.
The tasks of this essay have two purposes. The first is to acquaint you with this important regulating legislation by allowing you work with and think about some of its key legal processes and outcomes. The second is to acquaint you with current wage debates as they relate to the Act. To these ends, the essay asks you to address the following:
- From the course and wider literature pertaining to theories of centralised and decentralised wage determination, what are held to be the main advantages and disadvantages of each form?
- What arguments have been put forward to suggest the Fair Work Act 2009 has contributed to the current stagnation of Australian wages?
- What arguments have been put forward to support recommended changes to the Act as a
means of regenerating wages growth?
- How consistent (or otherwise) are these arguments with the advantages and
disadvantages identified in the theories of centralised and decentralised wage
- This is not a group assignment.
- Adhere to the word limit as set out above.
- Double space your work.
- Do not provide an executive summary or table of contents. This is not a ‘report’. It is an essay
that should conform with a standard format of its type (i.e., an introduction, a body and a
- Either Harvard style in-text referencing or Oxford style footnoting is acceptable.
- There is no recommended number of sources that should be cited.
- Papers with no citation will attract an automatic zero. Resubmission is not an option.
- Papers that have no reference section will attract an automatic zero. Resubmission is not an