Fair Work Commission staff may conduct or commission research as part of the annual wage review. On 15 July 2016, a Statement was issued inviting parties to comment on the draft Research program and provide submissions regarding future research proposals. The draft research program included research yet to be undertaken from the medium-term research program.
In undertaking the research program, a Minimum Wages Research Group is consulted comprising representatives nominated by:
In addition to research projects, a statistical report and research reference list are also published for annual wage reviews and is published separately from the research reports.
The research program for the 2016–17 Review was confirmed in a Statement issued on 16 August 2016 and an outline of the research is provided below. Accompanying this research will be a short paper summarising the scope and findings of each report.
This project will involve an analysis of the recent trends in employees covered by enterprise agreements, focusing on factors such as sectoral shifts. The project will be undertaken in two stages, with the first part published for the 2016–17 Review and the second stage, incorporating data from the Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours confidentialised unit record file for 2016, to be published later in 2017.
An analysis of the characteristics of the youth labour market, including comparisons over time, would be performed for this project. Characteristics would include employment type, hours worked, educational attainment, and industry and occupation of those employed. Differences in unemployment and underemployment between youth who are and who are not full-time students would also be explored. Analysis would be performed using various Australian data sources. A literature review on youth unemployment will be included.
This project will analyse data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey to examine award-reliant workers across the household income distribution. The research will focus on where award-reliant workers are positioned in the household income distribution and the characteristics of award-reliant workers across the household income distribution.
This project will discuss factors that can affect people commencing and completing apprenticeships and traineeships. The discussion will examine both supply-side and demand-side factors and how they have changed over time.
This project would track the changes over time in the extent of underemployment for those who are employed part-time, and its relation with unemployment. It would compare and analyse the characteristics of persons who are underemployed with persons unemployed, including over time. The characteristics that would be considered include gender, age, student status, location, industry and occupation. For underemployed workers, the characteristics for analysis would also include method of setting pay, hours worked and work schedules. It would seek information on the duration of underemployment and mobility to alternative employment states.