Around 1.1 million casual workers have been employed casually for more than two years, but have not been offered permanent work. Photo: Glen Hunt
Half of all casual workers – more than 1 million Australians – want to move into full-time positions and away from ”insecure jobs”, according to new research by the Australian Council of Trade Unions.
The figures will be used to support an argument that ”insecure labour” is a blight on the national workforce.
The ACTU will submit an options paper to the independent inquiry investigating the impact of casual, labour hire and contract employment, which is chaired by former deputy prime minister Brian Howe.
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The research, based on Australian Bureau of Statistics data, found that 1.1 million casuals would prefer to move away from flexible hours and fluctuating pay grades and into full-time work.
A comparable amount of workers have been employed casually for more than two years, but have not been offered permanent work, while another 1 million workers earn wages that vary in amount from week to week.
About 706,000 do not receive casual loading, and almost half a million have no choice about when they take holidays.
ACTU president Ged Kearney said the options paper was meant to highlight the scope of casual labour in the workforce. ”This paper will be part of a comprehensive and long overdue discussion about the way we work in Australia today and into the future,” she said.
”We know that insecure work – casual, fixed or short-term contracts, labour hire, and contracting – has almost doubled in the last two decades to make up about 40 per cent of the workforce.
”We also know from research that insecure work often means lower pay and fewer rights and entitlements. it makes it harder for [workers] to manage household finances, to spend time with their family and friends, and to plan for the future.”