1367.5 - Western Australian Statistical Indicators, Jun 2001  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/07/2001   
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July 18, 2001
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)

Award and agreement coverage in Western Australia

Western Australian workers on award rates are paid an average of at least $150 a week less than employees who are covered by individual or collective agreements, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Part-time employees and labourers were those most likely to be paid award wages.

Figures released today in a special article in Western Australian Statistical Indicators show that in May 2000, full-time adult award-only employees had average weekly total earnings of $642, compared with the higher earnings received by full-time adult employees under collective agreements ($856) and individual agreements ($790).

Award-only employees are those paid exactly the award rate of pay. Collective agreement employees are those paid by a certified or enterprise agreement. Individual agreement employees mainly include those whose pay is set by a common law contract and employees who receive over-award payments.

Employees paid at exactly the award rate made up 18% of employees in Western Australia. Most employees had their pay set by unregistered individual agreements (39%) or registered collective agreements (33%).

Registered collective agreements set the pay for the majority of public sector employees (77%). For private sector employees, just over half (51%) were paid by unregistered individual agreements, with almost identical proportions of employees having their pay set exactly at award rates or by registered collective agreements (20% and 19% respectively).

Registered individual agreements set the pay for a small proportion of employees, 7.4% in the private sector and 5.4% in the public sector, higher proportions than in any other State or Territory.

Employees working for large employers were much more likely to have their pay set by a collective agreement, whereas employees in smaller organisations were most likely to have their pay set by individual agreements.

For Western Australian full-time adult non-managerial employees covered by an award only, females earned an average $76 a week less than males. However, when taking into account variations in the paid hours worked, the female hourly rate was $1.10 higher than the male hourly rate. When overtime earnings and hours are excluded, the difference in average hourly earnings widened, with females earning $2.40 per hour more than males. Under all other pay setting arrangements, male employees earned more per hour than females.

Details are in Western Australian Statistical Indicators, June Quarter 2001 (cat. no. 1367.5), available from ABS Bookshops .