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Australians go casual -

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Australians go casual

Reporter: Doug Weller

TONY JONES: To business news now, and there's been a dramatic shift in the nation's work practices.

A new report has confirmed a huge shift towards casual employment over the past 15 years.

It found the number of casual jobs ballooned by 76 per cent and that most of those workers would
prefer greater security of employment.

Doug Weller reports.

DOUG WELLER: More and more workers are casual.

This report, co-sponsored by the ACTU, says the upswing is dramatic.

It claims casuals have increased by 21 per cent since 1996 and 76 per cent since 1990.

It also says more than a quarter of all workers are now casual, most are women, and nearly all
would prefer more regular work.

DR BARBARA POCOCK, RESEARCHER: Two-thirds of casual employees are not positive about their casual

And many of them are very negative, they suffer health consequences, their families are impacted,
their kids notice anxiety in their households and don't get a holiday with their father or their

SHARAN BURROW, ACTU PRESIDENT: This has a negative impact on their lives and the lives of their
families, but it also has a negative impact on the economy.

DOUG WELLER: The Federal Government says casual employment is about choice and flexibility.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry agrees.

PETER HENDY, CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY: The majority of casual workers want to be casual

They get special leave and other loadings, so that their salary is between 20 per cent-30 per cent
higher than normal hourly working wages.

SHARAN BURROW: We're not unrealistic - there is casual work.

If it's genuinely short term, if it is about genuinely about wildly varying hours or emergency
relief, that will continue.

DOUG WELLER: The report claims, despite loadings, casuals are paid less than full-time staff.

Doug Weller, ABC News.

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