We know that insecure work is a disaster for workers, and new research by Australian Unions has revealed just how dangerous it can be.
Our recent survey found that more than two thirds of insecure workers didn’t take time off when they were injured or ill.
Why? Because they feared it would negatively impact their jobs. For six in ten of these workers, a lack of paid leave meant they simply couldn’t afford the time off.
“Insecure work doesn’t just have massive social and economic consequences” said ACTU ACTU Assistant Secretary Liam O’Brien, “it creates a dangerous work environment, when people don’t feel they have the adequate support to report a hazard or take time off when they’re sick or injured.”
“Insecure workers have been on the frontline of the pandemic since the beginning. Delivery drivers, aged care workers, essential retail workers, cleaners. The people who deserve paid leave the most, are the ones who are not getting it.”
Only a quarter of insecure workers felt they had adequate support to return to work after an injury. To put this statistic into perspective, for permanent employees it was 61%. Half (50%) of insecure workers – compared to only 32% of permanent workers – did not report a workplace sexual harassment incident because they were worried about negative consequences for themselves.
According to O’Brien, this crisis is the result of a failure by the Morrison Government, who have accelerated the increase in insecure work. “They need to take immediate action to fix the insecure job crisis in Australia, and start prioritising the health and safety of working people.”