About a third of Tasmanian workers are on insecure, non-standard work arrangements and it puts their lives on hold, unions' peak body says.
"It puts tremendous financial and emotional strain on families struggling to make ends meet or balance work-life commitments," the Australian Council of Trade Unions said in a new report on insecure work in Tasmania.
"It also makes planning and saving for the future often impossible."
The report - the first in a series covering insecure work in states and regions - said Tasmania had the highest level of casual work in the nation (26.6 per cent of employees), and that was 4.7 percentage points above the national average.
It said about one in three employed Tasmanians had insecure and non-standard work arrangements, including casual, independent contractor or fixed term contracts.
More than 20,000 workers in Tasmania had more than one job, while Tasmanian workers earned 13 per cent less than the Australian median (mid-point) weekly wage.
Employed Tasmanian women were more likely to work part-time (58.4 per cent) than the national average of 46 per cent.
The report said that was a major factor in a growing earnings gap between women and men.
"The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted how important it is to have a permanent job, not just during a disaster," Unions Tasmania secretary Jessica Munday said.
"We hear from people all the time who can't get a rental, can't plan their childcare and don't know if they can afford to put food on the table.
"This is not just a private sector issue either.
"We hear it from people working in the public sector too."
ACTU secretary Sally McManus said insecure work meant more than a quarter of Tasmanian workers did not have reliable incomes and had no paid leave entitlements.
"The recovery from this pandemic will be an opportunity to determine what kind of country we want to live in and what basic rights all working people should be able to rely on," Ms McManus said.
"Insecure work means a life of uncertainty and stress, not knowing how much you'll get paid week to week and not being able to plan your future.
"Tasmanians have been let down by state and federal governments.
"Too many Tasmanians are left without a reliable job.
"The federal government should be protecting jobs and making them more secure, not waving through attack after attack from big business on our most basic rights."
The report said the federal government should change laws to make it harder for employers to turn permanent work into insecure work.
It said the state government could set fair pay and conditions in the state service and provide "pathways to permanency" for state servants without job or income security.
It said the state should also introduce laws to crack down on wage theft.
Unions will hold public forums in Devonport and Launceston to discuss the report.
The Launceston session will be at 5.30pm on September 2 at the Invermay Bowls Club.
The Devonport session will be at 5.30pm on September 16 in the Aberdeen Room at the paranaple Centre.
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