The Howe Inquiry into insecure work in Australia has been swamped with more than 500 submissions, including around 450 from workers eager to tell their stories.
More than 100 of the submissions are now available online at securejobs.org.au, with more being added each day.
The submissions also include about 50 from community groups, unions, academics and other organisations.
ACTU President Ged Kearney said the response to the inquiry, chaired by former Deputy Prime Minister Brian Howe, had been overwhelming and showed the level of community interest in the issue.
“It is no understatement to say that the number and quality of submissions to this inquiry has exceeded our wildest expectations,” Ms Kearney said.
“The issue of insecure work has really struck a chord in the Australian community.
“Submissions range in length from a few sentences to hundreds of pages, but many of the most compelling are short stories from Australia workers about the impact insecure work has had on their lives. Many are heart-breaking.
“The sheer volume of submissions means that about 20% have been made publicly available online so far. More submissions are being published each day.
“We are now looking forward to the public hearings, set to start later this month,” Ms Kearney said.
She said dates and venues would be announced shortly for the hearings, which will occur in every state and territory this month and next.
“The Howe Inquiry is one of the most important investigations into the changing nature of Australian work in recent times, with the use of casual, fixed or short-term contracts, and labour hire almost doubling in the last two decades to make up about 40% of the workforce now,” Ms Kearney said.
“The submissions will provide valuable evidence for the inquiry panel to consider the impact insecure work has on people’s ability to plan for their future, to make ends meet and to spend time with family and friends.”