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Tabling of "living at work" report in parliament



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NEWS RELEASE FROM THE MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS THE HON. TONY STREET, M.P.

TABLING OF "L IV IN G AT WORK" REPORT IN PARLIAM ENT

The design of jobs and the organisation of work in Australia have an important bearing on workers' job satisfaction, as well as on their mental and physical health.

This is one of the simple but telling conclusions of the "Living at Work" report which I tabled in the Parliament today, and which has relevance to the trend of industrial relations.

The report presents the findings of a national study of Australians' attitudes to their work and matters affecting those attitudes. The study was commissioned by the previous Government, and conducted by Dr Fred B. Emery of the Centre for Continuing Education, Australian National University, and Mr Chris Phillips, now National Director of Australian Frontier.

The study covered some 2,000 people in jobs below the supervisory level in a wide range of occupational and industrial categories. The results provide a comprehensive picture of the work these people were doing, their feelings concerning their jobs and place of work, and the extent to which the organisation structure of the firms influenced the work work was done. It also includes

information on health, attitudes to leisure and general life styles, which increasingly are recognised as important features of industrial life today.

A significant product of the study is that it established the validity of the observation "one of the products of work is people". The results indicated that those people whose jobs allowed them opportunities for involvement, interest, learning, variety and so on, tended to enjoy superior mental and physical health and make more use of their leisure time.

. Where workers consider their jobs to be interesting and challenging, they are likely to have a greater sense of job satisfaction, be satisfied that they are getting what they want out of life, and have a greater belief in their capacity and ability to handle change. .

The report goes on to draw out relationships between the quality of work life and industrial relations, and gives new insights on the attitude of workers towards trade unions and managements.

It is my hope that this report will be studied by managements and employees alike, and that it will help to stimulate the co-operation needed to improve the nature of jobs and work organisation in Australian enterprises.

Copies of the report may be obtained from offices of my Department in each State, and from the Australian Government Publishing Service Bookshops.

CANBERRA 19 May 1976 36/76