|Issue No 108||24 August 2001|
Young Casuals Not Paid Overtime
One third of young casual workers are forced to work overtime without pay, according to a national survey of 1400 employees.
The survey of casual workers, mostly aged between 15 and 25, found more than 60% worked while sick, most did not know if they were being paid the legal minimum wage and 47% were never informed of their rights as employees.
The survey was conducted by the Young Christian Workers Association.
ACTU President Sharan Burrow said the survey confirmed union concerns that employers were increasingly using casual employment to fill long-term positions to avoid obligations including sick leave, holiday pay and job security entitlements.
"Our young people deserve better than the false choice between sub-standard conditions or no job at all. Employers are adults and should take responsibility for making sure their young employees at least know their rights.
"This is the harsh reality of workplace change under John Howard and it will only get worse under the Government's latest plan to exempt small business from existing limits on casual employment," Ms Burrow said.
"Employers should be offering permanent employment to casuals after six months successful service. Treating employees well also helps the business through increased loyalty, productivity and lower turnover and retraining costs."
The ACTU was particularly concerned by the increased casualisation of the labour market over recent months. More than 150,000 full time jobs disappeared in the last four months, with the only jobs growth in part time employment, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
A leaked Federal Cabinet document earlier this month revealed Government plans to make it easier for small business employers to hire more casuals. The Cabinet document said the proposal would be criticised "as exacerbating the so-called trend towards casualisation of the workforce at the expense of permanent positions."
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005