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Fear of sacking ‘keeps women quiet’…

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The Age — Page: A3 : 13 August 2007
Original article by Jewel Topsfield

LexisNexis Summary
Twelve academics contributed to the “Women and WorkChoices: Impacts on the Low Pay Sector” report. Across low-paid jobs such as cleaning, hospitality and transport 121 women were interviewed. A key finding is that low-paid women are too afraid to comment on illegal or unfair work conditions; also fearing to request changes to working hours in case they are dismissed under the WorkChoices laws. The Australian Government has described the report as “deeply flawed and politically motivated”, ahead of its official release on 13 August 2007. The report also found that the loss of unfair dismissal protection in small businesses affects “the labour market in which minimum-wage workers are concentrated”.

Work Choices hits women hard: study
The Sydney Morning Herald — Page: 3 : 13 August 2007
Original article by Andrew West

LexisNexis Summary
Australia’s Human Rights & Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) commissioned a WorkChoices report in March 2006. However, after the sex discrimination commissioner, Pru Goward, departed the agency to contest a seat for the Liberal Party, HREOC withdrew from the study. The research continued with funding from state governments and bodies such as the National Foundation for Australian Women and the Women’s Electoral Lobby. A key finding following the WorkChoices legislation was “an increased climate of fear” found in many areas which traditionally have a concentration of female employees, particularly aged care, call centres, child care and hospitality. Most of the 120 case studies involve women earning less than $A20 per hour, with almost 85 per cent in workplaces with less than 100 employees.

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