Flexible Work in Australia

Essay by only1kadeeUniversity, Master's August 2008

download word file, 9 pages 3.0

The Necessity of Flexible Work Policies in Australia This paper draws on current literature regarding flexible working in Australian organisations with particular attention paid to work life balance, gendered effects of traditional and flexible working arrangements, and to the potential business case for flexible working. In this paper, flexibility is defined as how and when work gets done and how careers are organised. It is also discusses the barriers this critical ingredient to overall workplace effectiveness incurs in terms of work/life balance and diversity. (Bitman, Hoffman & Thompson, 2004; Bray, Deery & Walsh, 2005 & Lee, 2001)Official unemployment is approximately 5% in Australia and is attributed primarily to strong economic performance and the growth of people seeking more flexible work options such as part time. These flexible workers are not reflected in the unemployment figures providing an inaccurate picture of the labour market and some unique challenges in the years to come.

According to the Business Council of Australia (2005), by the year 2020 the number of people retiring will exceed those entering the labour force. The Australian Human Resource Institute in 2004 further supports the Business Council through a report by Access Economics (2001), that only 125,000 people will enter the labour market for the decade 2020-2030 compared to 170,000 entering the single year of 2001. (ABS, 2003b; and cited in Mithen, 2004)Two primary reasons for the cause of this projected decrease in new labour market entrants have been identified. Firstly, as female participation has increased, fertility rates have decreased to below replacement level in Australia. Secondly, the early retirement culture enjoyed in Australia is one of the youngest in the world with a large proportion of the 'baby boomer' generation expecting to retire between 55 and 60 years of age. The two factors in combination, suggest a labour...