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'Sharing out the work'



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FOR PRESS EMBARGO: 7.45 p.m. 3lcv

ADDRESS BY THE HON. IAN MACPHEE, M.P., MINISTER FOR PRODUCTIVITY TO THE

NATIONAL CONFERENCE 'SHARING OUT THE WORK', - CANBERRA, JULY 12, 1978

I CONGRATULATE THE ORGANISERS OF THIS STUDY CONFERENCE. I HAVE READ THE BACKGROUND MATERIAL WHICH HAS BEEN CIRCULATED TO EACH OF YOU AND BELIEVE THAT IT AND THE STRUCTURE OF THE PROGRAM WILL ENABLE ALL DELEGATES TO DISCUSS AT LENGTH THE ADVANTAGES AND DIFFICULTIES IN THE WAY OF INTRODUCING JOB SHARING ARRANGEMENTS AS A SERIOUS OPTION AND AS A PERMANENT FEATURE OF OUR EMPLOYMENT PATTERNS.

I AM DELIGHTED TO HAVE BEEN INVITED TO OPEN THE CONFERENCE AND TO PARTICIPATE AS CHAIRMAN OF THIS SESSION BECAUSE, AS MOST OF YOU WILL NOW KNOW, THE DEPARTMENT OF PRODUCTIVITY HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED AS A MEANS OF EXPLORING NEW WAYS OF DOING THINGS AND TO BE A CATALYST IN ENCOURAGING THE COMMUNITY TO EXAMINE

ITS TRADITIONAL ASSUMPTIONS ON A WHOLE RANGE OF MATTERS WHICH AFFECT NATIONAL PRODUCTIVITY.

AS THE PAPERS PRESENTED AT THIS CONFERENCE INDICATE, OUR APPROACHES TO WORK AND LEISURE, OUR SYSTEMS OF WORK AND OUR PATTERNS OF WORKING HOURS, ARE DIRECTLY RELATED TO NATIONAL PRODUCTIVITY IMPROVEMENT AND ARE CLOSELY RELATED TO THE CONSTANT CHALLENGE OF RELATING PEOPLE TO TECHNOLOGY.

ONE OF THE THEMES WHICH I HAVE BEEN EMPHASISING AS MINISTER FOR PRODUCTIVITY HAS BEEN THE NEED FOR US TO REDEVELOP OUR EXISTING INDUSTRIES BY DESIGNING TECHNOLOGY WHICH HAS REGARD TO THE EDUCATIONAL STANDARDS AND ASPIRATIONS OF THE PEOPLE WHO WILL WORK WITH THAT TECHNOLOGY. AT THE SAME TIME I HAVE

BEEN STRESSING THE NEED FOR US TO DESIGN, DEVELOP AND MANUFACTURE THAT TECHNOLOGY AS A MEANS OF. CREATING NEW INDUSTRIES AND NEW SATISFYING EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES.

THE DEPARTMENT OF PRODUCTIVITY HAS BEEN ACTING AS A CATALYST FOR A RANGE OF INDUSTRIES TO EXAMINE EVERY ASPECT OF THEIR COST STRUCTURE IN ORDER THAT NO ASSUMPTION MIGHT GO UNQUESTIONED. TOO MANY PEOPLE IDENTIFY OBVIOUS COST PROBLEMS AND ASSUME THAT THEY CAN GO ON CONDUCTING THEIR VARIOUS PROGRAMS

IN MUCH THE SAME WAY THEY HAVE BEEN FOR GENERATIONS. THIS COMMENT APPLIES TO ALL ASPECTS OF THE WAY IN WHICH MATERIALS ARE USED, HANDLED, TRANSPORTED AND STORED, AND OF THE WAY IN WHICH THAT MOST PRECIOUS RESOURCE, PEOPLE, IS UTILISED IN A MODERN INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY. I AM QUITE CONVINCED THAT GOOD MANAGEMENT CAN MOBILISE THAT HUMAN RESOURCE IN A WAY WHICH IS VERY COST EFFECTIVE BUT WHICH STILL ENHANCES THE QUALITY OF WORKING LIFE.

SOME OF YOU HAVE HEARD ME SPEAK ON OTHER OCCASIONS ABOUT THE PROBLEM OF MOTIVATING PEOPLE AND OF REDESIGNING JOBS TO MATCH THE EDUCATIONAL STANDARDS AND ASPIRATIONS OF THE MODERN WORKFORCE. I RECENTLY ANNOUNCED THE GOVERNMENT'S POLICY ON EMPLOYEE PARTICIPATION AND THERE IS NO NEED FOR ME

TO REPEAT THAT TONIGHT. IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE, HOWEVER, THAT THE COMMONWEALTH GOVERNMENT IS, BY WAY OF A TRIPARTITE NATIONAL STEERING COMMITTEE, SEEKING TO DIRECT ATTENTION TO THE NEED FOR INDIVIDUAL ENTERPRISES AND INSTITUTIONS TO EXAMINE AS A WHOLE THE WAY IN WHICH THEY CARRY OUT THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES.

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QUITE OBVIOUSLY .THIS WILL INVOLVE AN EXAMINATION OF THE TECHNOLOGY WHICH IS EMPLOYED AT THE INSTITUTION AND THE WAY IN WHICH JOBS CAN BE REDESIGNED. IT ALSO INVOLVES SYSTEMS OF COMMUNICATION WITHIN THE OPERATION AND SHOULD ‘ INVOLVE A QUESTIONING OF THE PATTERNS OF WORKING HOURS AS WELL.

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A GREAT DEAL HAS BEEN SAID IN THE BACKGROUND PAPERS CONCERNING THE TREND TOWARDS CAPITAL INTENSIVE INDUSTRIES AND I THINK IT MUST BE ACCEPTED BY AUSTRALIANS THAT THIS TREND WILL CONTINUE BECAUSE OF OUR HIGH COST STRUCTURE WHEN COMPARED WITH OUR COMPETITORS. OUR CHALLENGE MUST THEREFORE

BE TO IMPROVE THE PRODUCTIVITY OF OUR EXISTING INDUSTRIES SO THAT THEY CAN CONTINUE TO EMPLOY PEOPLE, AND TO CREATE NEW INDUSTRIES BASED ON OUR NATURAL RESOURCES. SUCH INDUSTRIES WILL AGAIN BE CAPITAL INTENSIVE BUT THE MORE OF THEM WE CREATE THE MORE PEOPLE WE CAN EMPLOY IN JOBS WHICH ARE SELF-FULFILLING.

TOO OFTEN DISCUSSION ON THE EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK IS SHORT TERM AND PEOPLE SEEK PALLIATIVES WHICH WILL OFTEN WORSEN OUR COST PROBLEMS AND NOT REALLY RESOLVE OUR STRUCTURAL DIFFICULTIES. WE NEED A MORE POSITIVE APPROACH AND WE SHOULD BEGIN BY RECOGNISING THE NATURE OF THE TREND TOWARDS CAPITAL

INTENSIVE INDUSTRIES AND RECOGNISE ALSO THAT OUR GREATEST AREA OF COMPARATIVE ADVANTAGE RELATES TO OUR HIGHLY EDUCATED WORKFORCE. WE CERTAINLY DO HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO BUILD NEW INDUSTRIES WHICH CAN EXPORT EXPERTISE, INFORMATION AND SOPHISTICATED TECHNOLOGY.

LONG LEAD TIMES ARE INVOLVED IN CREATING SUCH INDUSTRIES, HOWEVER, AND WHILST, IN AREAS LIKE MICROGRAPHICS AND CONSULTING ENGINEERING, THERE IS EVIDENCE OF A DRAMATIC GROWTH IN THESE INDUSTRIES THE FULL EMPLOYMENT POTENTIAL OF THEM WILL NOT BE REALISED FOR SOME TIME.

ONE OF THE CHALLENGES FACING THE COMMUNITY THEREFORE IS TO HARMONISE THE RATE OF CHANGE BETWEEN THE INTRODUCTION OF NEW TECHNOLOGY INTO EXISTING INDUSTRIES - TECHNOLOGY WHICH SHOULD BE DESIGNED TO CREATE MORE STIMULATING JOBS AND THE CREATION OF NEW INDUSTRIES BY TECHNOLOGY WHICH WILL ALSO BE DESIGNED TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF WORKING LIFE AS WELL AS TO IMPROVE PRODUCTIVITY. A CONSIDERABLE REDEPLOYMENT OF HUMAN AND MATERIAL RESOURCES

IS INVOLVED ALONG WITH EXTENSIVE TRAINING AND RETRAINING PROGRAMS. THE CONCEPT OF CONTINUING EDUCATION WHICH THIS CENTRE EPITOMISES SO WELL WILL NEED t o BE BETTER UNDERSTOOD BY ALL MEMBERS OF THE WORKFORCE IF, AS A COMMUNITY, WE ARE TO SUCCEED.

IT IS IN THAT CONTEXT THAT I PARTICULARLY WELCOME THE HOLDING OF THIS CONFERENCE. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT THERE IS A GREATER PUBLIC AWARENESS, DISCUSSION AND UNDERSTANDING OF ALTERNATIVE WORK PATTERNS. ALTERNATIVE WORK PATTERNS WHICH EMBRACE PERMANENT PART TIME EMPLOYMENT AND JOB SHARING CAN NOT ONLY MEET THE CONVENIENCE OF INDIVIDUALS BUT CAN SATISFY THE REQUIREMENTS

OF MANAGEMENT AND ACTUALLY CREATE NEW JOBS. THE TRADITIONAL FIVE-DAY (40 HOUR} WEEK WAS DESIGNED FOR FAMILY LIFESTYLES OF DECADES PAST. IT DOES NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE DEMANDS OF WORKERS AND FAMILIES TODAY. FURTHER, SUCH TRADITION STRUCTURES COULD BE SEEN TO WORK AGAINST SPREADING OUT

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES.

A DESTANDARDISATION OF WORKING HOURS COULD MAXIMISE THE INDIVIDUAL’S FREEDOM OF CHOICE FOR LABOUR MARKET PARTICIPATION AND ENABLE THE INDIVIDUAL TO DECIDE WHAT FORM BEST SUITS PARTICULAR NEEDS, RESPONSIBILITIES AND ASPIRATIONS. IT COULD ALSO AID MANAGEMENT IN A MORE EFFICIENT USE OF

CAPITAL EQUIPMENT.

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SCME OF THE BACKGROUND PAPERS WHICH ΥΟΙΓ HAVE BEEN GIVEN INDICATE THE RAPID STRUCTURAL CHANGES WHICH HAVE OCCURRED IN THE EMPLOYMENT MARKET IN THE LAST DECADE. I WILL NOT REPEAT THOSE FIGURES BUT WILL OBSERVE THAT A FEATURE OF EMPLOYMENT PATTERNS OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS IS THE RAPID GROWTH,

IN THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE EMPLOYED ON A PART-TIME BASIS.

WHILE THIS TREND HAS BEEN INDICATIVE OF A STRUCTURAL SHIFT TOWARDS THE GROWTH IN THE SERVICE SECTOR OF THE ECONOMY, IT HAS COINCIDED WITH AN INCREASED PREFERENCE FOR PART-TIME EMPLOYMENT. THERE ARE NOW APPROXIMATELY 914,000 PEOPLE EMPLOYED IN THIS CATEGORY, 60% MORE THAN IN 1972. IN MARCH 1978 ALMOST 80% OF PART-TIME WORKERS WERE FEMALE AND OVER 60% WERE MARRIED FEMALES.

A RECENT I.L.O. STUDY SHOWED THAT SUBSTANTIAL CHANGES IN ALTERNATIVE WORKING HOURS SYSTEMS HAVE OCCURED IN THE PRECEDING TWENTY YEARS IN ALL BUT SEVEN OF THE TWENTY ONE COUNTRIES STUDIES. THESE CHANGES HAVE INCLUDED COMPRESSION OF THE 40-HOUR WORK WEEK INTO FOUR DAYS. FURTHER TRIALS INTO ALTERNATE UNITS OF WORK TIME ARE CONTINUING.

REPORTED ADVANTAGES INCLUDE: . INCREASE IN PRODUCTIVITY; . IMPROVED JOB SATISFACTION DUE TO INCREASED LEISURE TIME; . IMPROVED SATISFACTION IS REPORTED TO BE REFLECTED IN HIGHER INDIVIDUAL

OUTPUT; . EASIER RECRUITMENT; . .

. MAINTENANCE OF PLANT ON DAYS OFF RESULTING IN MINIMUM DISRUPTION TO PRODUCTION. .

HOWEVER, SOME SIGNIFICANT DISADVANTAGES WERE ALSO REPORTED: . EMPLOYEES WERE AWAY FROM HOME FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME ON THE FOUR WORK DAYS; . SOCIAL PURSUITS WERE LIMITED DURING THIS PERIOD; . THE FOUR DAYS WERE LONG'WORKING DAYS AND THE PERIOD SET ASIDE FOR LUNCH

AND RECUPERATION WAS NOT ALWAYS ADEQUATE.

ANOTHER SYSTEM EXPERIMENTED WITH, PARTICULARLY IN STRASBOURG AND DIJON, WAS STAGGERED WORK HOURS.

THIS WAS AN ATTEMPT TO RATIONALISE VARIOUS INDUSTRIES AND THEIR RELATIONSHIPS WITH EACH OTHER, AND WITH THE COMMUNITY. GROUPS OF INDUSTRIES (E.G. SHOPS, OFFICES AND GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS) WERE ALL ALLOTTED TO OPEN AND CLOSE AN HOUR BEFORE OR AFTER EACH OTHER. THIS ALLOWED OFFICE WORKERS ACCESS TO

SHOPS AND VICE VERSA. A NUMBER OF BENEFITS WERE RECORDED: . TRAVELLING WAS EASIER BECAUSE PUBLIC TRANSPORT SYSTEMS WERE LESS CONGESTED; . THERE WERE FEWER TRAVEL-RELATED ACCIDENTS; .

. TOWN PLANNING WAS RATIONALISED.

THE MAJOR REPORTED DIFFICULTY WITH SUCH AN APPROACH IS THAT AGREEMENTS MUST BE REACHED WITHIN ENTIRE. CITIES, I.E., AMONG INDUSTRIES, SERVICES AND GOVERNMENT/COUNCIL BODIES. IT DOES NOT OFFER FLEXIBILITY BUT RATHER EXCHANGES ONE STRUCTURE FOR ANOTHER. .

FLEXIBLE WORKING HOURS - FULL TIME HOURS FOR LESS THAN A FIVE DAY WEEK, OR TEN DAY FORTNIGHT, OR TWENTY DAY MONTH IS A SYSTEM WHICH HAS BEEN UTILISED IN AUSTRALIA, AS WELL AS IN EUROPE. BECAUSE OF INCREASING INTEREST MY DEPARTMENT CONDUCTED TOO SURVEYS, ONE IN 1974 AND ONE IN 1976, INTO VARIED WORKING HOURS. IT WAS NOTED THAT SINCE 1970 THERE HAS BEEN A 10% INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF FIRMS OPERATING VARIOUS SYSTEMS. A FOLLOW-UP OF THE SCHEMES

IN 1977 SHOWED THAT THE MAJORITY OF THE FIRMS WERE KEEN TO CONTINUE THEM.

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BENEFITS RESULTING FROM THE SCHEMES WERE REPORTED AS BEING INCREASED EMPLOYEE MORALE, REDUCED ABSENTEEISM, IMPROVED JOB SATISFACTION AND BETTER USE OF WORK TIME. AN IMPORTANT FEATURE WAS THE INCREASED SENSE OF RESPONSIBILIT' AND INTEREST IN WORK.

MAIN PROBLEMS WERE STATED AS BEING COORDINATION OF WORK, CONTACTING PEOPLE WHEN NEEDED AND ABUSE OF THE SYSTEM. HOWEVER, IT WAS ALSO STATED THAT THESE PROBLEMS WERE SOLVABLE.

THE RAPID GROWTH IN PART-TIME EMPLOYMENT IS NOT JUST A DOMESTIC TREND; - z IT ALSO APPEARS TO BE AFFECTING NUMEROUS OTHER INDUSTRIALISED COUNTRIES.

THE ABILITY OF INDUSTRIES TO UTILISE THIS NEW SOURCE OF LABOUR WILL BE IMPORTANT IN ACCOMMODATING NEW INDUSTRIAL DEMANDS, ESPECIALLY IN THE SERVICE SECTOR. THE USA SERVICE INDUSTRIES OPERATING FOR EXTENDED PERIODS EACH DAY (E.G. DEPARTMENT STORES AND SUPERMARKETS) HAVE EXTENSIVELY UTILISED THIS SOURCE OF LABOUR.; IN THE UNITED KINGDOM, ONE IN FOUR. WOMEN IN MANUFACTURING ARE EMPLOYED ON A PART-TIME BASIS.

BENEFITS OF THIS APPROACH FOR THE COMPANY CAN INCLUDE: . FLEXIBILITY OF PROVISION OF LABOUR, PARTICULARLY IN RELATION TO AREAS WITH FLUCTUATING WORK LOADS; . ALLOWS LONG SHIFT-WORK SCHEDULES TO BE REDUCED, RESULTING IN REDUCED .

FATIGUE AND IMPROVED PRODUCTIVITY; . AVAILABILITY OF AN ADDITIONAL SOURCE OF SKILLED PEOPLE WHO IN MANY CASES MIGHT REQUIRE A MINIMUM OF RETRAINING; . . ALLOWS FOR A RELEASING OF SKILLS AND EXPANSION OF CHOICE FOR EMPLOYERS

IN THE LABOUR MARKET; . ALLOWS FOR A MORE RATIONAL UTILISATION OF CAPITAL INVESTMENT.

BENEFITS FOR THE INDIVIDUAL CAN INCLUDE: . GREATER ABILITY TO MEET DUAL RESPONSIBILITIES, E.G. HOME AND WORK; . GREATER FLEXIBILITY TO 'MEET OTHER COMMITMENTS; . GREATER OPPORTUNITY FOR THE INDIVIDUAL TO ENTER THE WORKFORCE.

OTHER BENEFITS ACCRUING FROM AN INCREASE IN PART-TIME WORK CAN INCLUDE: . REDUCTION OF STRESS ON PUBLIC AND SOCIAL UTILITIES SUCH AS TRANSPORT, ROADWAYS, RECREATIONAL FACILITIES, CHILD-CARE FACILITIES, ETC.; . POTENTIAL FOR REDUCING THE EXPENDITURE OF PUBLIC FUNDS ON UNEMPLOYMENT

BENEFITS AND OTHER EMPLOYMENT RELATED PROGRAMS; .

. IMPROVED UTILISATION OF CAPITAL INVESTMENT WITH A RESULTANT POSITIVE INFLUENCE ON THE COST OF AUSTRALIAN GOODS AND SERVICES.

DIFFICULTIES INCLUDE: . THE COST OF EMPLOYMENT - TAXES/INSURANCE; . t h e De s i r e t o o b t a i n b e n e f i t s s u c h a s s u p e r a n n u a t i o n , s i c k l e a v e , e t .c .,

FOR PERMANENT PART-TIME EMPLOYEES

JOAN FORD'S PAPER ON PERMANENT PART TIME EMPLOYMENT IS AN EXCELLENT ONE AND SHOULD RECEIVE A GOOD DEAL OF ATTENTION DURING THE NEXT TOO DAYS. IN WRITING THAT PAPER JOAN HAS DRAWN HEAVILY ON HER CONTRIBUTION TO THE PUBLICATION OF 'FUTURE LOBBY1AND THE NEW SOUTH WALES ASSOCIATION FOR MENTAL HEALTH STUDY ENTITLED "PERMANENT PART TIME WORK STUDY." THAT STUDY WILL BE WELL KNOWN TO MANY OF YOU AND CONTAINS IMPORTANT WORKING PAPERS AND AN ANNOTATED

BIBLIOGRAPHY OF RELEVANT WORKS. I COMMEND* FUTURE LOBBY*FOR ITS INITIATIVE IN ENDEAVOURING TO PROMOTE PUBLIC DISCUSSION ABOUT PERMANENT PART-TIME WORK.

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THAT PUBLICATION AND JOAN'S SUBSEQUENT PAPER PLACE A DIFFICULT CHALLENGE BEFORE THE COMMUNITY AND I THINK IT IS A CHALLENGE WHICH COULD BE MET BUT IT WILL RAISE MORE PROBLEMS THAN THE WORKING PAPERS ATTEMPT TO RAISE.

I BELIEVE THAT THE CONCEPT OF PERMANENT PART TIME EMPLOYMENT SHOULD BE SEEN AS BEING COMPLEMENTARY TO WHAT WE NOW CALL FULL TIME EMPLOYMENT BUT . IF PEOPLE WERE PAID BY HOURLY RATES OR ON SHIFTS OF SAY 4 HOURS IT COULD BE REGARDED AS FULL TIME EMPLOYMENT - FOR THE INDIVIDUALS CONCERNED. THE CONCEPT OFFERS FREEDOM OF CHOICE TO THE INDIVIDUAL REGARDING THE ALLOCATION OF HIS OR HER TIME TO LEISURE AND WORK AS WELL AS FREEDOM REGARDING INCOME LEVELS FOR A FAMILY. IT CAN CREATE SOME EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES AND UTILISE EXISTING SKILLS WHICH WOULD NOT OTHERWISE BE AVAILABLE BECAUSE CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS DO NOT WISH TO HAVE A FULL TIME JOB.

I WILL COME BACK TO MY SUGGESTION OF SHORTER SHIFTS BUT BELIEVE I SHOULD POINT OUT AT THIS STAGE THAT THERE WILL BE AN INCREASE IN ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS AS A RESULT OF EMPLOYING PEOPLE ON A PART TIME BASIS. _ " :

· PAYROLL TAX REGARDING PART TIME EMPLOYMENT WOULD

' . BE A DETERRENT TO EMPLOYERS TO EXPERIMENT WITH PART TIME EMPLOYMENT OR JOB SHARING. SIMILAR PROBLEMS EXIST REGARDING WORKERS' COMPENSATION AS ALL EMPLOYEES NO MATTER HOW SHORT THEIR WORKING HOURS WILL NEED TO BE COVERED. CONSIDERATION SHOULD ALSO BE GIVEN AT THIS CONFERENCE ABOUT THE QUESTION OF HOLIDAY PAY, LONG SERVICE LEAVE, SUPERANNUATION AND OTHER CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT AND THE ROLE OF THE INDUSTRIAL TRIBUNALS WITH REGARD TO THESE MATTERS AND WITH REGARD TO THE CONCEPTS OF PART TIME EMPLOYMENT AND JOB

SHARING. OTHER COSTS RESULTING FROM EMPLOYMENT SUCH AS MATERNITY LEAVE AND CHILD CARE FACILITIES MUST ALSO BE CONSIDERED WHEN DISCUSSION TURNS TO THE FACTORS WHICH MIGHT DETER MANAGEMENT FROM ENCOURAGING PART TIME EMPLOYMENT.

I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THESE PROBLEMS ARE INSUPERABLE BUT I DO BELIEVE THAT THEY MUST RECEIVE CONSIDERABLE ATTENTION AT THIS CONFERENCE.

WHILE ATTENTION WILL BE GIVEN AT THE CONFERENCE TO THE PEOPLE WHO DO WANT PART TIME EMPLOYMENT AND WILL BENEFIT FROM IT ATTENTION SHOULD ALSO BE GIVEN TO THE REACTION OF THOSE WHO WILL NOT WELCOME THEIR INCOME BEING REDUCED BY JOB SHARING. THUS, WHILE I AGREE THAT DEBATE SHOULD TAKE PLACE ON THE PROPOSITION THAT ALL IN THE COMMUNITY HAVE THE RIGHT TO SHARE THE AVAILABLE WORK THOSE WHO ARE IN EMPLOYMENT AND WHOSE WORKING HOURS AND

INCOME MIGHT BE REDUCED AS A RESULT OF THE ADOPTION OF SUCH A PROPOSITION COULD BE EXPECTED TO RESIST IT STRONGLY. THE FACT THAT THERE WILL ALWAYS BE SOME PEOPLE IN THAT CATEGORY MIGHT BE SEIZED UPON BY TRADE UNIONS AS A REASON NOT TO DEPART FROM THE SACROSANCT 8 HOUR DAY OR EQUALLY SACROSANCT

5 DAY WEEK. THE FACT IS, HOWEVER, THAT AN INCREASING NUMBER OF PEOPLE WILL, AT DIFFERENT STAGES OF THEIR LIVES, BE ATTRACTED TO THE CONCEPTS OF PART TIME EMPLOYMENT AND WE SHOULD THEREFORE NOT MAKE THE MISTAKE OF BELIEVING THAT THOSE WHO ARE NOW OPPOSED TO THAT CHANGE WILL ALWAYS BE SO OPPOSED.

IT IS PROBABLY MORE PRACTICABLE TO TALK OF PART TIME EMPLOYMENT WITHOUT SUGGESTING THAT IT NEED BE INTRODUCED BY REDUCING THE WORKING HOURS OF THOSE WHO WISHED TO BE EMPLOYED 8 HOURS A DAY. PART TIME EMPLOYMENT COULD, HOWEVER, BE INTRODUCED AT THE EXPENSE OF THE OVERTIME WHICH MIGHT BE GAINED BY THOSE WHO HAVE FULL TIME EMPLOYMENT. THAT AGAIN IS A MATTER WHICH REQUIRES VERY CAREFUL CONSIDERATION.

BECAUSE OF THE FACT THAT INDUSTRY IS STILL OPERATING UNDER CAPACITY IT WILL BE SOME TIME BEFORE OVERTIME INCREASES TO SUCH AN EXTENT THAT MORE FULL TIME EMPLOYMENT IS CREATED IN INDUSTRIES. WHEN THIS FACT IS COUPLED WITH

WHAT IS COMMONLY REFERRED TO AS "HIDDEN UNEMPLOYMENT" THE NEED FOR A SERIOUS EXAMINATION OF PERMANENT PART TIME EMPLOYMENT BECOMES OBVIOUS. AS THE FUTURE LOBBY WORKING PAPERS POINT OUT THERE IS NOT MERELY "HIDDEN UNEMPLOYMENT" AMONGST MARRIED WOMEN WHO HAVE NOT REGISTERED FOR EMPLOYMENT BUT WHO WOULD LIKE TO HAVE A JOB, BUT THERE IS ALSO HIDDEN UNEMPLOYMENT AMONGST PERSONS WHO

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HAVE REMAINED AT SCHOOL BECAUSE THEY DID NOT BELIEVE TffiY COULD GET A JOB ON LEAVING SCHOOL. AS THE FUTURE LOBBY WORKING PAPERS POINT OUT, THIS PROBLEM IS C0MMON TO ALL OECD COUNTRIES AND FUTURE CONSIDERATION IN AUSTRALIA OF THESE PROBLEMS SHOULD HAVE REGARD TO EXPERIMENTS OVERSEAS.

SOME OF THE BACKGROUND PAPERS FOR THIS CONFERENCE REPRESENT AN IMPORTANT BEGINNING IN THAT REGARD.

WHILST THE ORIENTATION OF WORKING PAPERS ON PERMANENT PART TIME EMPLOYMENT HAS BEEN TOWARDS FEMALE EMPLOYMENT - FOR REASONS WHICH HAVE BEEN WELL EXPLAINED IN THE BACKGROUND PAPERS - THE CONFERENCE SHOULD NOT LOSE SIGHT OF THE RELEVANCE OF PART TIME EMPLOYMENT TO MALES, ESPECIALLY

STUDENTS OR PERSONS WHO MIGHT WISH INCREASED LEISURE TIME IN MIDDLE AGE RATHER THAN THE HARSH OPTION OF FULL TIME EMPLOYMENT OR TOTAL RETIREMENT,

ONE OF THE SUGGESTIONS WHICH I HAVE ADVANCED FREQUENTLY IN THE PAST YEAR HAS BEEN THAT THERE SHOULD BE MORE DISCUSSION ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF ABOLISHING THE CONCEPT OF THE WEEKEND. I THINK THAT JOAN FORD AND HER PERMANENT PART TIME RESEARCH ASSISTANT HAVE DONE A SPLENDID JOB IN SETTING OUT MANY OF THE OPTIONS FOR PUBLIC DEBATE.

I HAVE ALREADY PRAISED JOAN'S PAPER OF THE 21 MAY, 1978 WHICH HAS BEEN CIRCULATED TO YOU. AS I HAVE MENTIONED, THAT PAPER AND THE FUTURE LOBBY PUBLICATION DID NOT POINT OUT SOME OF THE COST PROBLEMS WHICH MIGHT BE VIEWED BY MANAGEMENT AS DISADVANTAGES. I RAISE THAT AS A WARNING RATHER THAN A CRITICISM. I FIND MYSELF IN COMPLETE AGREEMENT WITH HER GOALS

IN WRITING THAT PAPER AND THE ONLY ADDITIONAL COMMENT I WISH TO MAKE IS I WOULD LIKE TO SEE DEBATE ON JOAN'S APPARENT ACCEPTANCE OF THE CONTINUATION OF THE CONCEPT OF A 5DAY WORKING WEEK.

THERE ARE SOME INDUSTRIES - LIKE THE AIRLINE INDUSTRY - WHICH HAVE A 365 DAY YEAR. SO FAR I HAVE BEEN CONTENT TO ONLY GO AS FAR AS ADVOCATING A " 14 DAY FORTNIGHT WITHIN WHICH WORKINGS DAYS ARE FLEXIBLE.

THIS SUGGESTION HAS BEEN DESIGNED TO STIMULATE PUBLIC DISCUSSION ALONG THE VERY LINES PURSUED IN THE PAPERS CIRCULATED FOR THIS CONFERENCE AND TO ACHIEVE A NUMBER OF IMPORTANT COST REDUCTIONS AS WELL.

WHEN I SPOKE EARLIER OF PALLIATIVES AND SHORT TERM MEASURES I WAS THINKING OF SUCH THINGS AS CALLS FOR A 35 HOUR WEEK IN ORDER TO ALLEDGEDLY CREATE MORE JOBS. SUCH A SUGGESTION OF COURSE IS BASED ON THE NOTION THAT THOSE WHO THEN WORK A 35 HOUR WEEK WOULD CONTINUE TO GET PAID FOR 40 HOURS.

CONSEQUENTLY EVEN IF THEY WORKED 40 HOURS THEY WOULD BE PAID 5 HOURS OVERTIME. THIS WOULD BE AN ADDITIONAL COST TO INDUSTRY AND WOULD CERTAINLY NOT LEAD TO EMPLOYMENT OF ADDITIONAL PEOPLE. IN FACT IT WOULD PROBABLY LEAD TO FURTHER RETRENCHMENTS BECAUSE OF THE ADDED COST. SIMILARLY, FROM THE EMPLOYER'S POINT OF VIEW THERE ARE OFTEN CALLS FOR THE ABOLITION OF PENALTY RATES AND FOR THE REDUCTION OF JUNIORS' RATES. THESE CALLS ARE PARTICULARLY STRONG

IN AREAS WHICH ARE RELATED TO THE LEISURE INDUSTRIES WHERE PEOPLE ARE PAID HIGH PENALTY RATES FOR WORKING ON WEEKENDS IN ORDER TO SERVICE THE REST OF THE COMMUNITY WHICH IS NOT WORKING ON THOSE DAYS. PENALTY RATES PREVENT

LEISURE INDUSTRIES EXPANDING EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES AND ADD GREATLY TO THE COSTS SO THAT HOTELS, RESTAURANTS, ETC., ARE NOT PATRONISED AS FULLY AS THEY MIGHT OTHERWISE BE. THE TOURIST AND ACCOMMODATION INDUSTRIES HAVE ALSO COMPLAINED OF THIS PROBLEM AND HAVE ADVOCATED THE ABOLITION OF PENALTY RATES. MY COLLEAGUE, THE MINISTER FOR INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE, MY LYNCH, RECENTLY SAID: "A SYSTEM OF STAGGERED HOLIDAYS THROUGHOUT THE COMMONWEALTH WOULD SEEM TO OFFER CONSIDERABLE ECONOMIC BENEFITS. I AM AWARE THAT THIS PROBLEM HAS BEEN UNDER CONSIDERATION BY GOVERNMENTS FOR SOME TIME AND THAT LITTLE PROGRESS HAS BEEN MADE TO DATE. THERE MAY NOT BE A QUICK AND EASY SOLUTION. HOWEVER I CONSIDER THIS MATTER SHOULD BE ACCORDED A MUCH HIGHER PRIORITY BY GOVERNMENTS AND INDUSTRY."

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THE PURPOSE OF MY SUGGESTING THAT THE WEEKEND MIGHT BE ABOLISHED WAS TO COVER COST PROBLEMS SUCH AS PENALTY RATES AS WELL AS TO GENERATE NEW EMPLOYMENT AND CATER FOR PERSONS WISHING TO TAKE PERMANENT PART TIME EMPLOYMENT OR EVEN CASUAL PART TIME EMPLOYMENT. INSTEAD OF TALKING OF FLEXITIME BASED ON THE 5 DAY WEEK WE COULD CONSIDER FLEXITIME ON THE BASIS OF A 14 DAY FORTNIGHT

IN WHICH CAPITAL EQUIPMENT WOULD STILL BE WORKED FOR AS LONG AS MANAGEMENT DEEMED NECESSARY. I THINK THAT IT COULD BE WORTHWHILE YOUR CONFERENCE CONSIDERING THE VALUE OF HOURLY RATES OF PAY OR SHIFTS OF SAY 4 HOURS. IN THAT WAY ' PENALTY RATES COULD BE ABOLISHED AND FLEXITIME COULD BE SO

INTRODUCED THAT DEMANDS ON LEISURE INDUSTRIES WOULD BE SPREAD SO THAT NEW EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES COULD THEN BE CREATED. THE DEMAND FOR CHILD CARE . FACILITIES MIGHT WELL DECLINE IF PERMANENT PART TIME EMPLOYMENT COULD BE ARRANGED WITHIN SCHOOL HOURS. THIS WOULD OF COURSE DEPEND UPON THE EXTENT

TO WHICH BOTH SPOUSES SHARED THEIR FAMILY RESPONSIBILITIES AND ORGANISED THEIR PERSONAL WORKING HOURS ACCORDINGLY.

UNDER THE CONCEPT OF A 14 DAY FORTNIGHT WE MIGHT ALL WORK A TOTAL OF SAY 10 DAYS BUT WE WOULD NOT ALL WORK THE SAME 10 DAYS, NOR WOULD THEY BE CONSECUTIVE, NOR NEED THEY BE DAYS OF THE SAME DURATION. CONSIDERATIONS SUCH AS HEALTH AND EFFICIENCY WOULD DETERMINE SENSIBLE PERIODS OF EMPLOYMENT AND I WILL NOT PROLONG THIS OPENING BY DEALING WITH EVERY CONTINGENCY WHICH MIGHT OCCUR TO YOU BY VIRTUE OF THIS SUGGESTION. SOME OBVIOUS PROBLEMS WILL BE RAISED BUT I DOUBT THAT THEY ARE REALLY INSUPERABLE IF WE.ARE SERIOUS

ABOUT CHANGING OUR PATTERNS OF WORKING HOURS. SOME PROBLEMS WILL ARISE BECAUSE OF SCHOOL HOLIDAYS, BUT NOT EVERYONE HAS SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN AND SOME FLEXIBILITY WOULD EXIST IN STAGGERING HOLIDAYS, RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCES, AND SPORTING FIXTURES ETC. .

I WISH I COULD PARTICIPATE IN YOUR CONFERENCE FOR THE NEXT TWO DAYS BUT OTHER COMMITMENTS PREVENT MY DOING SO. I WILL, HOWEVER, TAKE THE OPPORTUNITY LATER TO DISCUSS THE WORK OF THE CONFERENCE WITH THE ORGANISERS. MEANWHILE,

I WISH YOU WELL IN YOUR DELIBERATIONS AND AM SURE THAT YOU WILL HAVE A MOST STIMULATING 48 HOURS.

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