Less than 5% of casuals can secure permanent roles - research
The Sector > Workforce > Advocacy > Less than 5% of casuals who want permanent roles can secure one, data shows

Less than 5% of casuals who want permanent roles can secure one, data shows

by Freya Lucas

January 22, 2024

Around  554,000 long term casual workers would prefer to be permanent according to a new ACTU analysis of ABS data released this morning. 


Despite the strong demand, less than five per cent of those casuals have been able to convert to permanent work under the current law. 


​“Too many casuals are casuals in name only. Most casuals work regular hours, week in week out, and have been in their job for more than a year,” ACTU President Michele O’Neil said. 


“If we are to tackle this cost-of-living crisis Australian workers need reliable jobs so they can have reliable incomes. Workers whose jobs are regular and ongoing should have the choice to become permanent workers.”


The new ABS survey finds that 70 per cent of casuals have been with their employer for more than 12 months. 29 per cent of these long-term casuals want to change to permanent work and list job security (61.2 per cent) and paid leave entitlements (20.2 per cent) as their top reasons for wanting to do so.  


​The remaining parts of the Closing Loopholes Bill will be debated again by Parliament in early February seeking to introduce a commonsense definition of casual employment, and a fairer way for an eligible worker to choose to become permanent or remain casual.  


​The ACTU research also finds that despite entitlements to extra loading, casual employees earn $11.90 less than their permanently employed counterparts. $31 an hour compared to $42.90 per hour – the highest pay gap ever in both dollar and percentage terms. There are also now 2.73 million casual workers in Australia – the highest number ever.  

The research also shows that the cost-of-living crisis is hurting workers in casual and other forms of insecure work the hardest. 53 per cent of insecure workers now report being financially worse off than they were 12 months ago, a 20  per cent increase since 2021, and higher than any other group of workers.  

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