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News News Insecure work conference a disgrace

 UnionsWA today supported criticism by ACTU Secretary Dave Oliver and UnionsNSW Secretary Mark Lennon of the Contingent Workforce Conference that today began proceedings in Sydney.


Meredith Hammat, UnionsWA President said:

“It’s a disgrace that highly paid managers and consultants are forking out one-and-a-half thousand dollars each for a how-to conference for making jobs less secure.

“The Conference slogan: “Contingent the new perm” is just insulting management jargon and double-speak – insecure work is mostly low paid work.

“Insecure work contributes to stress, uncertainty and results in little or no time off for sickness or family holidays.

“We regularly hear reports of cost of living pressures in WA. Paying the rent, let alone home financing, becomes difficult if not impossible on insecure work.”

According to the ABS:

  • One in five of all employees in WA - 230,000 people - work without sickness or annual leave entitlements (November 2011 ABS: 6359.0 - Forms of Employment, Australia, November 2010)
  • 119,300 Western Australians are now in contract employment and this has increased by 18.7% in just two years (November, 2008 to November 2010 ABS: 6359.0 - Forms of Employment, Australia, November 2010)

“There is a growing use of sham contracting arrangements where those whom by any reasonable measure are in effect employees, are forced to become contractors.

“This shifts risks from an employer to the employee, including for health and safety, sickness, leave and superannuation entitlements and taxation among other responsibilities.

“We need economic managers that look to the long term and a future where jobs are more secure.

“We need to build highly skilled jobs by investing in training, supporting local manufacturing and research and development among other priorities. 

Source: Details of the Contingent Workforce Conference are at:

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  • EmpowerWA

  • WAjobsfromwaresources

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