The ACTU is calling for a national target to halve the number of insecure jobs in Australia by 2030 in a submission to the Senate Select Committee on Job Security.
Almost 60 per cent of jobs created since the start of the recovery have been casual. Australia is experiencing the fastest expansion in the number of Australians working multiple jobs on record. This is compounding the impact of stagnant household incomes, the decline in traditional full-time permanent employment and a shift towards insecure work arrangements.
Australia currently has one of the highest levels of unreliable work in the OECD, with 2.3 million casual workers, sham contracting including gig work rife across many sectors of the economy and over 400,000 people on fixed term contracts.
Women are disproportionately represented in unreliable and insecure employment, making up 62 per cent of casual worker numbers in the pandemic recovery period.
Millions of workers are living pay cheque to pay cheque, with ABS data revealing that 1.5 million do not have $2000 in savings or ready cash for an emergency.
Workers are less likely to spend when their work and pay is unreliable. To repair the economy workers need financial security to encourage spending.
Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:
“The economic recovery should be an opportunity to strengthen the economy by making work more secure and reliable for millions of working people. Instead, the Coalition is doubling down on insecure work.
“Unreliable work means unreliable income and unreliable spending in local businesses. Stability of work and income for working people underpins the entire economy.
“We have the highest proportion of Australians working two or more jobs on record. No one works multiple, low-paid, unreliable and insecure jobs by choice. Workers are being forced to take multiple jobs and work more hours to make ends meet.
“60 per cent of pandemic recovery jobs have been casual jobs. Instead of acting to prevent the jobs recovery being casualised, the Morrison Government passed new laws this year that green light turning permanent jobs into casual jobs.
“To repair our economy we need workers spending – but they won’t be doing that without reliable work and secure incomes.”