AIRC Partly to Blame for Jobless

The Australian Financial Review
25th October 2004

Larissa Andelman suggests (IR reform misguided, 18 Oct) that industrial relations reform will "hit the lowest paid, who are predominantly women and young people" and she complains about the wage of $27,000 being paid to call centre workers.

However, such a wage would doubtless be welcome for the many unable to obtain a job and who make do with much lower social security, including unemployment, benefits. The existence of over 1 million jobless couples reflects the problem.

She should recognise that existing industrial relations regulations and their interpretation by the Australian Industrial Relations Commission are a major reason why many of such people are out of a job. Reform would do much to help them obtain work.

Finally, while most of the lowest paid are women and young people, the majority of them live in households with incomes at the upper end of the scale.