Precarious Work, Pandemics and Australia’s Future – Let’s Not Forget the Link

This is a guest post by Michael Quinlan & Dr Elsa Underhill (links added). In mid- August 2020 Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews labelled insecure work as toxic and argued a fundamental policy reset was required into the future.  He stated: Insecure work is toxic. There is nothing good about insecure work, and when this is … Continue reading “Precarious Work, Pandemics and Australia’s Future – Let’s Not Forget the Link”

Inquiry into precarious/insecure work includes OHS

2015 has been a big year for public attention on the exploitation of workers.  In May, the Four Corners program revealed the exploitation of, largely, migrant or illegal workers in the food processing and vegetable growing sectors.  In the last month, 7Eleven workers have featured, also after a Four Corners investigation in conjunction with Fairfax …

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WorkSafe starts work on sex work safety

The food delivery gig workers are the primary focus of the gig work and safety debates in Australia. The Transport Workers Union (TWU) is making good progress with one of the gig companies, DoorDash, on wages, conditions and OHS, but this progress remains limited. The focus on food delivery is also a comfortable category for … Continue reading “WorkSafe starts work on sex work safety”

You can lead an opera company to water, but you can’t guarantee it will drink

Recently accusations of bullying have been made by members of Opera Australia. The details are reported in Limelight, but the newspaper article by Nathaneal Cooper is more illustrative of the general workplace mental health challenges of those in the performing arts. Performers are one of the most visible and fragile sectors of insecure and precarious …

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HR inching its way to an OHS epiphany

A new Human Resources (HR) article shows some promise in addressing the institutional factors that lead to poor mental health in workers. The website for Human Resources Director asks, “Should HR be concerned about employee economic insecurity?” I would ask, “how can it not be?” given that Australian research over the last twenty years and …

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Political point-scoring misses the point

Last week the Australian Financial Review (AFR) caused a bit of a political stink by reporting that: “….Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show the share of casual employment was 22.8 per cent in February – 1.3 percentage points lower than in February 2020, just before the pandemic hit the economy.The casualisation rate is 4.8 percentage …

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“Insecure work is absolutely toxic”

The Victorian Government is trialling the provision of five days of sick, and carers’ leave for casual workers.  This was announced jointly by the Premier Daniel Andrews and the Minister for Workplace Safety, Ingrid Stitt on the Labour Day public holiday, indicating that this is a big reform and one directly related to occupational health …

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