UnionsWA has today commented on recently released data by the ABS comparing the wages of men and women in casual work where no annual leave or sick leave is provided. The ABS estimates that 271, 600 working West Australians are in some form of insecure, casual or contract work where they have no entitlement to paid annual leave or sick leave.
Meredith Hammat, Secretary, UnionsWA said:
“Over a quarter of a million working West Australians are now in work where they have no leave entitlements.
“In addition, many are in jobs that are insecure or casual, and have low wages.
“It’s almost impossible to plan for the future for themselves and their families.
“Women are particularly affected.
"Women working in jobs without paid leave entitlements are also receiving less pay than men.
“Often women are forced to accept insecure employment as it is the only way they can also balance their unpaid caring responsibilities.
“The ABS has found the typical or median wages paid for women in work without leave entitlements was $463 per week in August 2017 compared with $624 per week for men in WA.
“However, for men, the typical pay for work without leave has declined each year for three years in a row, down from $800 per week in 2014 to a new low of $624 per week in 2017.
"Low pay and rapidly declining pay is a crisis for many. Over the same three-year period in WA, the typical pay of women working in jobs without paid leave has increased slightly by $23.70 per week.
“These weekly income figures are not adjusted for inflation, so as costs of living have risen the real value of wages – particularly for men - has been even further eroded.
"Low pay and rapidly declining pay is a crisis for many.
“The total number of working people in jobs without any leave entitlements has continued to rise over the past three years.
“Addressing insecure work, low incomes for women and falling incomes for men needs to be a priority for our federal and WA governments.
“Federal and State Governments can act to make our workplace laws fairer and strengthen the rights of working West Australians.”
ABS Characteristics of Employment, Australia, August 2017 data is available here.
Downloads used here form that link are:
1a EMPLOYEES (excluding OMIEs) IN MAIN JOB: Median weekly and median hourly earnings in main job – By sex, state and full-time or part-time status in main job – Timeseries
1b EMPLOYEES (excluding OMIEs) IN MAIN JOB: Median weekly and median hourly earnings in main job – By sex, state and status of employment in main job – Timeseries
1c EMPLOYEES (excluding OMIEs) IN MAIN JOB: Median weekly and median hourly earnings in main job – By full-time or part-time status in main job, state and status of employment in main job – Timeseries