A report has been released by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) and Unions Tasmania, showing Tasmania has more workers that are casual and on lower wages than the rest of Australia.
Insecure work puts people’s lives on hold. It puts tremendous financial and emotional strain on families struggling to make ends meet or balance work life commitments. It also makes planning and saving for the future often impossible.
It also hurts all of us. Workers in insecure work and on low pay can’t support their community and local businesses 97% of Tasmanian businesses are small, making it vital that workers have the income and job security to support them.
Insecure work has also made it harder for communities to fight the pandemic. Workers lacking job security and fair pay will face greater barriers to take time off work to get tested and isolate or vaccinated if they are under serious financial stress and lack job security. This will be an acute challenge for Tasmania should Covid-19 re-enter the State.
As this report shows, it doesn’t have to be this way. The Federal Government should change the laws to make it harder for employers to turn permanent work into insecure work. It should also invest in the care economy especially in Tasmania where the workforce is predominantly women who are overworked and underpaid, as was highlighted in Aged Care by its Royal Commission.
The Tasmania Government can also take action by setting fair pay and conditions in the Tasmanian State Service (TSS) providing pathways to permanency for the many state servants without job or income security and using their powers of procurement to require firms engage permanent employees if they are to bid for work. The Tasmanian Government should also introduce state laws to crack down on wage theft or unscrupulous labour hire companies.
Download the full report - Spotlight on Job Insecurity and Wages: Tasmania.pdf