Welfare system ‘normalises’ precarious work

The Australian trade union movement is reinvigorating its fight against insecure jobs. This is one of the most important battles in these times of burgeoning inequality. The ACTU’s new documents to back up its fight Australia’s insecure work crisis: Fixing it for the future and Jobs You Can Count On are well researched and broad in scope. Its proposals cover strengthening…

Making a casual worker permanent – can it be done?

Last Wednesday, ACTU secretary, Sally McManus gave a speech at the National Press Club on increasing the minimum wage and improving job security. I was asked by the ABC NSW Statewide Drive program with Fiona Wyllie, to respond which I did on the day. Of course, I support any efforts to promote employment security. Further…

The ‘glass floor’: an old and new driver of inequality

The Age’s Good Weekend magazine almost always offers interesting longer articles for relaxed weekend enjoyment. But in a recent edition (3 February 2018) there was a disturbing aspect to the publication. The front cover of the magazine highlighted the feature story about property developer Michael Buxton and his art collection with the the tropes: MAKE…

Basic income – why we need it but will we get it?

For some years, I have been following the global debate about the adoption of universal basic income (UBI) while researching and writing about the changing face of employment – and the changing face of social welfare – as reflected in the content of this website. My doctoral research focussed on employment insecurity and the difficulties…