Media Releases

Casual workers $350 worse off every week: new report

April 10, 2022





Casual workers $350 worse off every week: new report

Embargoed until 9:00PM 10th April 2022


Casual workers in Australia are earning on average $350 less each week than their permanent full time or part time counterparts, according to a report released by Australian Unions today. (attached)


The report: ‘Missing in Action on Secure Jobs’ also reveals that an estimated 4.15 million Australian workers are currently in insecure work – including casual work, labour hire, gig economy workers, and those on rolling fixed-term contracts. This is about half a million more than when the Coalition came to power in late 2013. The report shows that despite being presented with reasonable solutions to tackle the proliferation of insecure work in Australia, the Morrison Government has made it easier for employers to keep using insecure work arrangements.


South Australia

The report ‘Missing in Action on Secure Jobs’ is the latest in a string of indictments on the Morrison’s Governments record on South Australian jobs. A recent report from the McKell Institute found South Australia has the lowest pay in the country and the second highest rate of insecure work.


ABS data shows that the situation in Adelaide’s key battleground seat of Boothby is even worse, with 38,800 people going without paid leave entitlements. While recent research conducted by Uniting Care showed that workers in Boothby have seen their wages go backwards more per fortnight than any other electorate in the state.


The report also contains new polling data which shows that 3 out of 4 insecure workers feel that the cost of living has worsened in the past 12 months, and are deeply dissatisfied with the Morrison Government’s response to it:

  • 83.4% are dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the Morrison Government’s failure to reduce the cost of childcare.
  • 80.9% are dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the Morrison Government’s failure to make housing affordable. 
  • 69.4% are dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the Morrison Government’s failure to increase wages.


Action needed

The union movement calls upon the Morrison Government to commit to acting on the recommendations made in the report, to counter the scourge of insecure work, including:

  • Introducing a common sense and fair definition of what constitutes a casual worker;
  • Introducing ‘Same Job Same Pay’ laws so that labour hire workers are paid the same as their directly employed counterparts;
  • Closing legal loopholes that make it easy for employers to call employees ‘independent contractors’ (also known as ‘shame contracting’);
  • Granting gig economy workers with stronger workplace rights;
  • Limiting the use of fixed term contracts, and allowing workers the opportunity to move to permanent jobs;


Quotes attributed to SA Unions Secretary Dale Beasley


“Insecure work doesn’t just strip workers of their wage and conditions. As this report shows it takes away their health, their time with family and friends and their overall well-being.


“Insecure work gives employers the upper hand in pay negotiations. It’s a key part of the reason we have such low wage growth. Even worse, it puts people into a constant state of short-term planning and anxiety.”


“Insecure work rips people off and Scott Morrison is doing nothing about it.”


“The government pat themselves on the back for low unemployment figures, hiding the truth that it’s due to low paid, insecure workers having to hold down multiple such jobs just to get by.”


“Scott Morrison should be helping address cost of living and low wages by addressing the Insecure work epidemic. One off payments are not the solution workers need. We need significant, long-term action to build an employment market filled with secure jobs people can rely on and build a future around, not Scott Morrison’s temporary window dressings.”