Melbourne Law School - Research Publications

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    COVID-19 and the Australian labour market: how did older Australians fare during 2020?
    Fry, J ; Temple, J ; McDonald, P ; Blackham, A (Australian Population Studies, 2021)
    Background   In analysing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the labour market, attention has focussed on younger people, leaving a research gap when it comes to outcomes for older Australians aged 50 years or over, in terms of employment, unemployment, underemployment and hours worked. Aims   To describe levels of labour force participation, unemployment, underemployment, and hours worked by older workers and job seekers during 2020. Data and methods   Using Australian Bureau of Statistics data, we perform descriptive analyses of variations in labour market outcomes by geographic areas, public and private sector employment, industry of employment and demographic characteristics. Results   Older employment fell in April but recovered by December. As the full-time share initially increased, average hours worked decreased due to reductions in hours offered to workers, increasing the underemployment rate. There was little recovery of employment in metropolitan Melbourne due to prolonged lockdown conditions. Of the largest industries, retail trade and manufacturing were worst affected.
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    Intersectional Discrimination in Australia: An Empirical Critique of the Legal Framework
    Blackham, A ; Temple, J (Law School, University of New South Wales, 2020)
    Australian equality law is still largely dependent on individual enforcement to achieve systemic change. The degree to which discrimination law acknowledges and accommodates intersectional discrimination is a question of growing pertinence. This article bridges theoretical scholarship on intersectionality and empirical statistical evidence of how people experience discrimination in Australia, drawing on data from the 2014 General Social Survey, to critically evaluate the extent to which Australian discrimination law is able to accommodate intersectional experiences of discrimination. We argue that there is a fundamental disconnect between the legal framework, which focuses on separate and distinct ‘grounds’ of discrimination, and how people actually experience discrimination in practice, which is multiple and overlapping. This article offers concrete suggestions for how the legal framework and data collection could be improved to better integrate intersectionality in Australian discrimination law.