Working low paid in Australia

Helen Masterman-Smith, Barbara Ann Pocock

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

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This article examines the extent, implications and significance of low pay in Australia today by bringing the voices of low paid workers and new statistical data to the issue. The evidence shows that one in four employees is low paid and that many are experiencing considerable hardship on and off the job as a consequence. Questions of dignity and fairness are central to workers reflection on working and living low paid. They discuss weak time sovereignty, poor access to training, illness-inducing workplaces, and reduced bargaining power. Many struggle to make work pay given the hidden costs of employment and reduced access to social assistance. Reversing these circumstances will require a reconfiguration of the Australian industrial landscape, informed by a conception of Australian workers that does not simply position them as commodities in a market, but as citizens with vital social and caring roles beyond the workplace.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAIRAANZ conference 2008
Subtitle of host publicationWorkers, corporations and community: Facing choices for a sustainable future
Place of PublicationMelbourne
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventAssociation of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand (AIRAANZ): 2008 Annual Conference - Melbourne, VIC Australia, Australia
Duration: 06 Feb 200808 Feb 2008


ConferenceAssociation of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand (AIRAANZ)


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