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Women at Work in Australia: Bargaining a Better Position?


  • van Wanrooy, B.


The Australian industrial relations system has undergone significant upheaval in the last few decades, with a push towards decentralisation. Women have traditionally relied on centralised wage setting and other statutory arrangements to improve their chances of equitable outcomes. One factor to which the widening gender pay gap is attributed is the introduction of enterprise and individual agreements (van Gellecum 2008). Using the Australia at Work study, this paper explores women's experiences at work, focusing on their position in the labour market and their role in bargaining at the workplace. Women are more likely to be found in part-time, low-paid and low-qualified jobs, which limit their ability to negotiate better employment outcomes. Regardless of their position in the labour market, however, women tend to rely on award arrangements to determine their pay and conditions. Any policies that undermine these arrangements are likely to contribute to inequitable outcomes for women.

Suggested Citation

  • van Wanrooy, B., 2009. "Women at Work in Australia: Bargaining a Better Position?," Australian Bulletin of Labour, National Institute of Labour Studies, vol. 35(4), pages 611-628.
  • Handle: RePEc:fli:journl:26122 Note: van Wanrooy, B. 2009. Women at Work in Australia: Bargaining a Better Position? Austalian Bulletin of Labour, Vol. 35 No. 4, pp. 611-628.

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Roberts, Anna M. & Pannell, David J. & Doole, Graeme & Vigiak, Olga, 2012. "Agricultural land management strategies to reduce phosphorus loads in the Gippsland Lakes, Australia," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 106(1), pages 11-22.
    2. David J. Pannell, 2008. "Public Benefits, Private Benefits, and Policy Mechanism Choice for Land-Use Change for Environmental Benefits," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 84(2), pages 225-240.
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    1. repec:ilo:ilowps:463412 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Roger Wilkins & Mark Wooden, 2011. "Measuring Minimum Award Wage Reliance in Australia: The HILDA Survey Experience," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2011n11, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.

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