Half of mothers and quarter of fathers suffer workplace discrimination after children

A landmark report released today by the sex discrimination commissioner has revealed almost 50 per cent of Australian mothers and more than a quarter of fathers and partners reported experiencing discrimination in the workplace at some point during pregnancy, parental leave or when they returned to work. Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick says the national survey of workers and employers has found indisputable evidence of widespread discrimination of pregnant women and their partners in all sectors and at all levels. MORE

"No group is immune": Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick.


Union survey says no wage cuts – Case Study

As the Prime Minister and business gets together, the big manufacturing union, the AMWU, says cutting wages is definitely not a means to improve productivity. In a survey it commissioned, 72 per cent of people were opposed to cutting wages and conditions as a means of improving output. MORE

Of course though in the short term you’ve got the problem not so much of competitiveness but survivability of Holden. Mike Devereux, the boss, says that costs will have to be brought down and everything’s on the table. Is there any circumstance when unions would consider a wage cut to keep Holden buoyant?

Over 84 per cent of those polled agreed that the way to boost productivity would be build cultures of trust between workers and employers and their unions and to go down the high road path of investing in quality and innovation.

Wage cost in manufacturing is around 16.8 per cent according to the ABS figures of manufacturing cost. So if even workers took a 10 per cent wage cut, the best saving a boss is going to get out of that is around 1.6 per cent.


From the perspective of a HRM Manager of Ford Motor Company what strategies could you use to increase productivity in order to reduce costs and hopefully save jobs in the long term.


Hiring for your startup? Value passion over skills

When and who to hire is a critical dilemma for new business startups. It’s costly, it’s risky and it’s energy consuming. What’s worse than not hiring soon enough, or hiring too soon, is hiring the wrong person.

Hiring the wrong person (been there, done that) can be very costly and disruptive.

Starting a business is often like having a child. For many, having a child is simple and cheap. What’s difficult and expensive is raising the child and making them independent.

I elected to hire three people at once, only 18 months after starting the business. Over the next 17 years, I added people who I felt would help us achieve our purpose. I realized that I could not achieve the level of excellence alone and this required a collaboration of others who shared the same passion and vision. This was not easy for me to understand in the early years.

I now know what I am looking for. After 17 years, and 17 businesses, here is the conclusion I have come to.

I seek to hire people:

  • With a high capacity to learn
  • A passion to help
  • Who are collaborative
  • Who are system thinkers
  • Who are open to constant feedback

I won’t repeat these hiring mistakes:

  1. Don’t hire on skills: hire on talents. Skills can be taught. If someone has critical skills that you desperately need but few talents, consider renting their skills.
  2. Don’t hire those who seek instant fortune and fame—passion drives practice. Practice drives excellence. Excellence results in fortunes and options. There are no shortcuts or get-rich-quick schemes that succeed.
  3. Don’t hire those who need “security.” Security is a result of excellence. Hire people who are confident in their abilities and who understand that their abilities allow them to achieve security. Security is based on providing customers relevant solutions and delivering them flawlessly.
  4. Don’t hire those who need titles and boundaries—ego-focused, boundary limited, control-seeking people will undermine a collaborative learning environment. They make it about them, rather than the team and the customer.
  5. There is no substitute to going with your gut—if you are 100 percent sure that the person is wrong – they are.

Source – Upstart Business Journal – May 2 2013

Union takes youth pay campaign to Canberra

Currently many employees on minimum wages will only receive full pay when they turn 21, something that unions say is unfair.

A young person can start in retail at say 15 years of age. They’re on 45 per cent of the adult rate. Then when they’re 16 they go to 50 per cent and thereafter they go to 60 per cent, 70 per cent, 80 per cent and so on, and at 21 they finally get to the adult rate.

Russell Zimmerman is the executive director at the Australian Retailers Association. He says industry is preparing to lodge its application arguing against pay increases for younger people in the next few weeks.

The claims also comes as the union movement is pushing for $30 a week rises in the minimum wage.

With a federal election in September and the Government doing badly in the polls, Russell Zimmerman says the union is trying to get as many claims through as it can.

1. Who are the stakeholders?

2. What are their claims?

3.  What are impacts the stakeholders if the claim is successful?



Report finds some McDonald’s workers better off than electrical apprentices

A new report has found that electrical apprentices are getting older and poorer as award wages for some first and second year apprentices effectively require them to live below the poverty line. Fair Work Australia will begin the hearings for its Modern Award Review next week.

  1. Make a claim about the topic
  2. Identify support for your claim
  3. Ask a question related to your claim

ABC AM 28/2/13