Shiftwork and rostering arrangements in the Australian mining industry: An overview of key trends
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The paper presents some of the key results from a comprehensive national survey into current shiftwork and rostering arrangements in the Australian mining industry. The findings confirm the continued trend towards both compressed and extended shifts in commuting and non-commuting mining sites. The survey also confirms a shift towards long average weekly hours, a trend that now appears to be a structural feature of the industry in Australia. We explore the reasons for what has arguably become a “regulatory vacuum” around working hours in Australia, including the occupational health and safety and industrial relations implication of these trends. We conclude by arguing that none of the industrial parties appears particularly well positioned to tackle these problems, and that all parties are compromised by a conflict of interest between the health and safety interests of employees and the financial and profit imperatives that drive the industry and the stakeholders within it.