One-third of victorian employees covered by schdule 1a

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One-third of victorian employees covered by schdule 1a

Written and commissioned for the Victorian Industrial Relations Taskforce, a report by the Australian Centre for Industrial Relations Research and Training (ACIRRT) has found that a third of Victorian employees are covered by non-award and non-agreement minimum terms and conditions.

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HRLink Issue No: 88/00

Written and commissioned for the Victorian Industrial Relations Taskforce, a report by the Australian Centre for Industrial Relations Research and Training (ACIRRT) has found that a third of Victorian employees are covered by non-award and non-agreement minimum terms and conditions.

The report is entitled 'Earnings, employment benefits and industrial coverage in Victoria', and provides insight into current employment conditions in Victoria.

In late 1996 the Victorian Kennett Government referred industrial relations to the Commonwealth. This left Victorian employees with two main kinds of industrial coverage. The first was federal coverage by virtue of a federal award, agreement or an Australian Workplace Agreement. Secondly, Victorian employees may be covered by Schedule 1A of the Workplace Relations Act 1996.

Schedule 1A is a schedule of minimum terms and conditions and applies to all Victorian employees without Federal coverage. The key issue for the Taskforce in this regard is the question:

To what extent are employees covered by Schedule 1A disadvantaged in comparison with employees covered in federal awards and agreements?

To this end, the ACIRRT report set out to survey Victorian workplaces. The survey was conducted throughout June 2000, by way of a telephone interview. A final sample of 835 workplaces were canvassed. The sample was weighted to estimate population numbers for all Victorian workplaces.

The key findings of the report were:

  • 54% of Victorian workplaces have Sch 1A employees. This compares with 45% of Victorian workplaces that have employees with Federal award coverage.
  • 33% of the total of Victorian employees are under Sch 1A coverage (this equates to around 561,000 employees). Therefore, 67% of Victorian employees have Federal coverage (approximately 1.1million employees).
  • Around 42% of Sch 1A employees are on minimum rates. This contrasts significantly with the 26% of Federally covered employees who are on minimum rates.
  • While Sch 1A employees make up about a third of all Victorian employees, they make up about 52% of Victorian employees who have a minimum rate of under $10.50
  • Whilst higher rates of pay for overtime, penalty rates for weekend work, shift allowances and annual leave loading are standard among employees with Federal coverage, only 35% of Sch 1A workplaces pay annual leave loading; 24% pay penalty rates for weekend work; around 6% paid shift allowances; and around 41% paid overtime rates.

According to the report, once a wide range of factors are controlled, it appears that industrial coverage is an important predictor of whether a workplace will pay low minimum rates. The taskforce is due to release a report on its findings by 31 July 2000.

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