Over time, insecure work has become more prevalent in the Australian economy. Key drivers of worsening job quality include: decades of economic policies which constructed unemployment “buffers”; insufficient paid work available for all who need it; reductions in the level of unemployment benefits to below-poverty levels, collapse in collective bargaining coverage, and failure to regulate insecure work.
In this update on job insecurity in Australia, Alison Pennington reviews the ongoing erosion of full-time, traditional “good” jobs, growth in COVID-era “gig” work, and outlines how business trends and labour market policies have facilitated both lower worker bargaining power and a dramatic rise in insecure work.
For more on reducing the incidence and consequences of insecure work, see our recent submission to the Select Committee on Job Insecurity, by Dan Nahum.
New research reveals the growth of ‘gig’ employment in the NDIS and care sector is undermining minimum employment conditions for tens of thousands of workers, with thousands of workers likely earning below-award wages, missing out on superannuation and experiencing inferior WHS protections and gender pay equality outcomes.
An urgent overhaul of poorly paid and casualised disability support work is needed to ensure the National Disability Insurance Scheme’s viability and protect participants from substandard care, a new report by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work says.
Chris Wright is Associate Professor in the Discipline of Work and Organisational Studies at the University of Sydney, and a member of the Centre for Future Work’s Advisory Committee. This commentary is based on his submission to the Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee’s inquiry into the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Closing Loopholes) Bill 2023,
The RBA is currently targeting a 4.5% unemployment rate, and that is going to hurt young, low skilled and low paid workers,
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