Welfare to Work: Or Work Discipline Revisited

25 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2006

See all articles by Terry Carney AO

Terry Carney AO

The University of Sydney Law School


Australia recently enacted welfare-to-work reforms for sole parents, the partially disabled and the long-term unemployed. At the same time, it enacted labour law reforms which dismantled labour law award protections in favour of 'individual bargaining'. This paper argues that the combined effect of these reforms not only brings about closer integration between social security and labour law, but also increases the 'disciplinary' controls over the lives of welfare clients, while also degrading the conditions of the most vulnerable welfare clients, whether they are in work (on reduced employment conditions) or on welfare (on less generous benefits.

Keywords: Welfare reform, activation, welfare-to-work, breaching

JEL Classification: K39, J65, K31, I38

Suggested Citation

Carney AO, Terry, Welfare to Work: Or Work Discipline Revisited. Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 06/47, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=895446

Terry Carney AO (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006

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