Awards still play a significant role in determining pay and conditions for the majority of Australian workers, new University of Sydney Workplace Research Centre research has found. The overwhelming majority of businesses referred to an award when determining pay and conditions, and almost three million employees did not negotiate their pay and conditions but relied on awards, the Who Bargains report co-author Dr Brigid van Wanrooy said. Collective bargaining has been largely confined to the public sector, with just 21% of private sector employees bargaining. “Where collective bargaining does take place, awards still have a central role,” van Wanrooy said. “Ninety per cent of employers report referring to the awards in their collective agreements,” she said. “The employees who do not participate in bargaining tend to be low-paid, low-skilled, in part-time and casual employment, and women.” The NSW Govt commissioned the research, which IR Minister John Hatzistergos said “will inform our ongoing negotiations with the Fed Govt concerning the national industrial relations system”.
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