Brave New Workplace: How individual contracts are changing our jobs

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Allen & Unwin, Feb 1, 2006 - Business & Economics - 272 pages
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Once employees knew they'd be paid properly for working nights and overtime and couldn't be dismissed on a whim. Unions made sure of this. Now employees are being asked to do their own bargaining, one on one. Employers and government claim that this will lead to higher productivity, while unions and church groups cry foul. What is really going on?

The push for individual contracts for employees overturns a century of collective efforts to create basic rights and a 'fair go' in Australian workplaces. David Peetz peels away the layers of corporate and government doublespeak that surround this most heated issue to uncover what is really happening in relations between employers and employees. He explains who benefits from individual contracts and who doesn't, and how this will change the way we work. He locates individual workplace contracts in a wider debate about whether we are moving away from collective ideals towards individualistic values.

From offices to shops, schools, hospitals and mines, individual contracting affects every single employee in Australia. Brave New Workplace is compelling reading for anyone who wants to understand the brave new world of work.

'This is a timely and important book. The Australian Government is promoting individual contracts as the way forward for all Australian workplaces. David Peetz's research demonstrates clearly that individual contracts are the antithesis of modern, productive employment relationships.' - Greg Combet, ACTU Secretary

'David Peetz dissects the workplace world of dog eat dog with forensic skill. This book is essential, accessible reading for those who want to understand what individualism in the workplace means for workers and for Australian society.' - Associate Professor Barbara Pocock, author of The Work/Life Collision

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Beginnings and core ideas
2 Youre all individuals? Some myths about individualism and collectivism
Individual contracting for the corporation
4 What are you worth? The impacts on ordinary employees
Corporate strategies and human rights
Responding to the corporate push
7 Finding the way upholding basic rights of the brave new workforce
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About the author (2006)

David Peetz is Professor of Industrial Relations at Griffith University. He worked for 10 years in the former Commonwealth Department of Industrial Relations, and is author of Unions in a Contrary World.

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