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Effects of work pressures on housing under review
Released 24 October 2011

Workers will have the opportunity to share their stories about the impact of casual and contract employment alongside community groups, unions and employers in a new national independent inquiry to investigate the extent of insecure work in Australia.   

The ACTU launched the independent inquiry into Insecure Work, the first formal investigation of the growth and spread of casual, contract, labour hire and other forms of insecure work in Australia, and the impact it has on family finances including home ownership as well as workplace rights and society.

The inquiry will be chaired by former Deputy Prime Minister Brian Howe, with Paul Munro, a former Senior Member of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission, as deputy chair.

ACTU President Ged Kearney said the inquiry had been commissioned to examine the extent of insecure work and its impact on workers, their families and the community, and to provide recommendations on measures that can be taken to address any problems that are identified.

“We know that insecure work – casual employment, fixed or short-term contracts, labour hire, and contracting – makes up about 40% of the workforce,” Kearney said.

“Workers have told us that insecure work makes it harder for them to manage the household finances, to spend time with their family and friends, and to plan for the future. The job of our new Inquiry is to shine a light on the plight of insecure workers in Australia, and work out what government, employers and unions should be doing to help them.” 

The inquiry, part of the Secure Jobs, Better Future campaign will be open for submissions between 2 November and 16 December, before public hearings in each state in February and March.