Employer Associations & Modern Awards Essay

1086 Words Aug 27th, 2014 5 Pages
There have been substantial changes to modern awards over the years that employer associations have historically and are currently advocating. In this regard, issues such as penalty rates and flexibility stemming from employer association submissions have been researched and examined by (Sheldon & Thornthwaite 2013) portraying evidence that employer associations relatively prefer cost cutting and enhanced managerial prerogative as oppose to productivity. Entailed within this essay the key concepts such as penalty rates, managerial prerogative, flexibility and productivity will be discussed with particular focus the modern award reviews combined with an overview of Sheldon and Thornthwaite’s argument in summary and concurrence.
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In the technical sense, penalty rates are a form of tangible benefit within the financial context which generally refers to those payments made to workers outside normal working hours. Regulator motivations for including penalty rates in modern awards as stated by (Sloane, 2014) are twofold: firstly, to compensate workers for work performed during what was historically known as ‘unsociable hours’ and secondly, to dissuade employers from operating within those hours. However, as advocated by (Sheldon & Thornthwaite, 2013) the modern award reviews have ‘provided a forum for employers and their associations to escalate their campaign to the significance of penalty rates in industries operating during the traditionally ‘unsociable hours’, which is evidence that employer associations prefer to enhance managerial prerogative over productivity which is predominantly concerned with the cost of resources. The push for the examination of provisions regarding penalty rates has mostly been seen to affect the tourism and retail industries.
Flexibility is made up of numerous components however, within in the context of the workplace involves thinking creatively about how working lives can be better structured to match individual and business needs (Job Access, 2012). Following the review of penalty rate provisions, amendments to the flexibility clause were sought after with particular attention paid to the manufacturing industry. Greater flexibility was requested in the taking
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