What's in Australian Workplace Agreements in the Hospitality Industry? A Content Analysis

By Van Barneveld, Kristin | Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management, August 2006 | Go to article overview

What's in Australian Workplace Agreements in the Hospitality Industry? A Content Analysis


Van Barneveld, Kristin, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management


This article unpacks the content of Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs) in the hospitality industry and makes a comparison with collective agreements that have been negotiated in the industry. The article reveals that, in the hospitality industry, AWAs are minimal documents when compared to collective agreements, with AWA employers achieving wages and hours flexibility at the expense of employee entitlements. The lack of innovative provisions in AWAs suggests that, in an industry where low labour costs have a significant impact on the organisation's bottom line, there is a temptation for employers to use AWAs to decrease these costs as much as possible. There is little evidence of AWAs being used for alternate purposes to foster positive employee relations, or to encourage and reward employees for good performance. Whether this approach will benefit the industry in the longer term is questionable. However, with the simplified agreement making process that was introduced through the Work Choices amendments to the Workplace Relations Act 1996, it is suggested that AWAs will become an even more attractive form of employment for hospitality employers.

**********

To date there have been no industry-specific studies of the outcomes of AWAs for certain groups of workers. This is despite the literature suggesting that workers in some industries, such as hospitality, would be worse off as a result of the individualisation of their employment relationship (Bramble, 2001; Carlson et al., 2001; Peetz, 2001; Pocock, 1996; Preston & Crockett, 1999; Roan et al., 2000; Strachan & Burgess, 2001; van Barneveld & Arsovska, 2001). This article investigates the content of AWAs for workers in the hospitality industry and compares this against outcomes achieved through collective bargaining. The article explores whether hospitality AWA workers are, indeed, worse off.

Firstly, the extent of AWAs in the industry is outlined. Secondly, the methodology used in data collection and analysis is briefly outlined. Thirdly, specific provisions of hospitality industry AWAs are measured against collective agreement content. Finally, the processes behind the making of AWAs and the changes introduced through the Work Choices amendments to the Workplace Relations Act 1996 are discussed before concluding comments are made.

The Extent of AWAS in the Hospitality Industry

Although the hospitality industry has been typically categorised as award-reliant (Barnes & Fieldes, 2000; Bell, 1992; Buultjens & Cairncross, 2001, Buultjens & Howard, 2001), it is clear that an increasing number of workers are having their wages and conditions determined by an agreement.

Data from the website of the Office of the Employment Advocate (OEA), the body which approves AWAs, reveal that hospitality employers were the third largest users of AWAs in the 3 years to the end of December 2005, after the retail, and property and business services. During that period, 12.6% of the 514,800 AWAs approved covered employees working in the hospitality industry (broadly defined as including accommodation, cafes and restaurants approximately 65,900 AWAs). By way of comparison, OEA data suggest that at the end of September 2005, just 6600 employees in the hospitality industry had their wages and conditions determined by a union negotiated certified agreement and a further 7500 by a non-union certified agreement.

Caution, however, must be noted when considering these figures. Firstly, the AWA data includes all AWAs made in the hospitality industry for the 3 years up to 31 December 2005, while the certified agreement figures are those current at 30 September 2005. Given the high labour turnover in the industry, it is misleading to assume that all 65,900 workers remain employed under that AWA. Secondly, while the use of AWAs might seem high compared to the extent of collective agreements, the OEA's data ignore the high proportion of workers in the industry who are employed under the relevant award. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

What's in Australian Workplace Agreements in the Hospitality Industry? A Content Analysis
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.