A Shorten Labor Government will get historically low wages moving again by acting on job security.
Labor will legislate to allow workers the right to request permanent part-time or full-time employment after 12 months with the same employer.
Too many Australians are employed as casuals with no clear prospect of a permanent position, and endless job insecurity.
Too often long-term casual work is used as a mechanism to pay workers less, deprive them of leave, and make them easier to sack.
In Australia, 2.6 million workers are considered casual – that’s one in four workers who are not entitled to paid leave. More than half of them have been with their employer for more than 12 months (59 per cent) and 192,000 workers have been with their current employer for more than 10 years.
While some people like the flexibility that casual work provides, for others it has become a constant worry: never knowing what it’s like to have a paid sick day or paid holiday.
For these workers it’s tough to pay the rent or the mortgage and the bills, let alone make longer-term decisions like taking out a car loan or buying their own home.
Currently there is no obligation for an employer to offer a permanent job to a casual working regular hours and shifts, and an employer effectively decides who is and isn’t a casual.
The Liberals have failed to do anything about this for five years. They deny there is any problem with casualisation or precarious work.
Labor will give long-term casuals the right to request permanent part-time or full-time employment after 12 months. We will provide workers the right to challenge an employer who unreasonably refuses such a request.
Labor will also end the use of so-called ‘permanent casuals’ by introducing an objective definition of the term ‘casual’. We will work with workers, employers, unions and employer organisations to clearly define casual work – so employers and workers know with certainty whether a worker is really a 'casual'.