Assessing the impact of employment regulation on the low-paid in Victoria
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Since 1993 and the removal of the separate award system for the Australian State of Victoria, many Victorian workers have been on five minimum conditions and on pay levels well below that of employees in other States. Despite attempts to rectify the situation (with Victorian common rule awards), issues of coverage and employer compliance remained. The implementation of WorkChoices legislation in 2006 posed a further challenge to Victorian low-paid workers. Our research found that the impact of WorkChoices on the Victorian low-paid has been largely insidious, surfacing primarily as an increased wage-effort ratio, with people working more unpaid hours and at an increased pace. The implications of this are that these hidden effects are more likely to linger, even with the replacement of WorkChoices with the Fair Work Act, 2009. Furthermore, it appears that employer compliance with minimum conditions requires more adequate enforcement by the Federal Government.
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