The Federation Press

Working Futures

The Changing Nature of Work and Employment Relations in Australia


Working Futures examines the radical changes which are transforming the nature of work and employment relations in Australia:

  • Those who have paid jobs are working longer and harder
  • Many have less secure jobs than the previous generation
  • There has been a significant growth in precarious employment
  • Life-time careers are disappearing
  • Unions cover a dwindling proportion of the workforce
  • Wages and conditions are being unilaterally determined by management

A wide range of eminent contributors to this book provide insights from history, economics, sociology, law, psychology, management and industrial relations. The editors conclude that the traditional employer-employee model is increasingly irrelevant. More inclusive social and economic policies are required which are based on rights and obligations surrounding working life. Two issues, in particular, need to be addressed:

  • The portability of entitlements between employers
  • The sharing of risks associated with less secure forms of employment

Working Futures warns that unless changes are made to the status of workers, regulation of working time and the pooling of risks and responsibilities in regard to employment, there is likely to be a further deterioration in the quality of jobs and relations at work in Australia.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Working Futures
Ron Callus and Russell Lansbury

Work in an Ungolden Age
Keith Hancock

Changes in the Nature of Work and Employment Relations An Historical Perspective
Greg Patmore
Commentary: Melanie Oppenheimer
Commentary: Rae Francis

The Changing Labour Market and its Impact on Work and Employment Relations
Mark Wooden
Commentary: Joe Isaac
Commentary: John Burgess

Legal Aspects of the Changing Social Contract at Work
Ron McCallum
Commentary: Justice Lance Wright
Commentary: Suzanne Jamieson

Down with the Dictator: The Role of Trade Unions in the Future
Michael Crosby
Commentary: Rae Cooper
Commentary: Stephen Long

Employment Time and Family Time: The Intersection of Labour Market Transformation and Family Responsibilities in Australia
Bettina Cass
Commentary: Ed Davis
Commentary: Alison Morehead

The Disadvantaged in the New Economy
Gianna Zappala, Vanessa Green and Ben Parker
Commentary: Gillian Considine
Commentary: Caroline Alcorso

Changing Forms of Organisation and Management
Dexter Dunphy and Doug Stace
Commentary: Beryl Hasketh
Commentary: David Grant

The Future of Work and Employment Relations: Australia in a Global Context
Ron Callus and Russell Lansbury


Of interest...