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The deficit has been widening since 2016

New findings from the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) reveal that casual workers in Australia are facing an increasing disparity compared to their permanently employed counterparts. The research highlights that across all sectors, casual employees earn AUD 11.59 (USD 7.71) less per hour in comparison to their permanent counterparts. While permanent employees earn an average of AUD 40.54 (USD 26.97) per hour, casual workers receive AUD 28.95 (USD 19.26), creating a pay gap of 28.6%. This pay gap has been steadily widening since 2016 and has now reached its highest recorded level.

Further examination of the data within similar skill levels or occupations shows that the pay gap between casual and permanent workers ranges from AUD 3.55 to AUD 3.84 per hour, which is approximately 11%. Interestingly, this discrepancy persists despite casual workers being entitled to an additional loading of up to 25% in compensation.

The ACTU research also reveals that the financial situation of casual workers has deteriorated, with 50% reporting a decline in their financial well-being compared to the previous year. This percentage has increased from the 36% recorded a year ago.

Approximately 2.6 million workers in Australia, equating to nearly one in four, are engaged in casual work arrangements. Among these workers, women make up 55% of the casual workforce. The sectors with the highest rates of casualization include retail, accommodation, food services, health care, and social assistance, which collectively account for 55% of all casual employees.

In response to these findings, the ACTU is urging the government to abandon the changes made to the law during former Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s tenure and instead introduce a more sensible definition of casual work as part of the ongoing Industrial Relations reforms.

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US executives feel they have not been paid fairly in-line with inflation

A 2023 Job Market Survey has examined the state of employment in the United States – highlighting the growing economic concerns between lower and high wage earners.

The survey, commissioned by the Professional Resume Writers (PRW), interviewed a cross-section of 2000 people of which 92% were employed and 59% had a college degree,

Overall, the survey revealed concerns about job security has increased by 49%, however, for those at entry-level, the percentage leaps to 91%. Working from home has impacted employees significantly, based on their level within the organisation – a concern for entry-level employees, but with no impact at the executive level.

Key survey findings:

66% of executives are worried about job security in 2023. The highest of any of the levels surveyed.
Worry about job security has increased by 49% but, for those early in their careers their worry increased 91% over last year with nearly half of entry-level workers reporting being worried about job security in 2023.
21% of workers said that job security has been impacted by working from home
97% of Entry-Level workers feel like they have been impacted by the rise in cost of living
Executives feel they have not been paid fairly in-line with inflation
6 out of 10 people are looking to change careers
Worry about job security has increased by 111% for those with bachelor degrees

Michelle Masters, co-founder of Professional Resume Writers, said: “It’s not surprising that people are concerned about their job security, given the current economic climate. It’s important for professionals to take proactive steps to maintain their employability, such as staying up-to-date on industry trends and continually honing their skills. Additionally, individuals who are considering a career change should focus on their transferable skills and how they can be leveraged in a new field.”

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Josh Bersin recommends a more systemic approach to pay and benefits

Employers have been advised to adopt a “systemic approach” to their corporate pay and benefits strategies to attract jobseekers in the post-pandemic workplace. Josh Bersin, global industry analyst and CEO of The Josh Bersin Company, recommends that a more systemic approach to pay and benefits is necessary to make a company “irresistible” to current and prospective employees. According to Indeed, many employers are using a total rewards approach, which may no longer be suitable for the current workplace. Pay has emerged as the number one concern for workers globally, making an old-style total rewards approach insufficient. Instead, The Josh Bersin Company recommends a “Systemic Rewards” approach that balances pay equity and pay for performance, personalizes employee options, and reinvests benefits dollars to focus more on flexibility, career, and recognition.

The firm’s latest research, The Definitive Guide to Pay and Benefits: The Road to Systemic Rewards, outlines a systemic approach that includes competitive compensation, generous benefits, health and wellbeing support, flexibility, career, and purpose, and pay equity. According to the report, only nine per cent of companies have achieved this approach, but they are also 3.1 times more likely to innovate efficiently. A systemic approach would require collaboration among HR teams to be effective, Bersin added.

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Changes would include end to freeze on minimum wage for migrant workers

Australia is considering significant changes to its immigration system to enable highly skilled workers to enter the country more quickly and become permanent residents. The federal Labor government is planning to modify the points test used to select skilled migrants, which will assist in identifying individuals with the skill sets that are required for the Australian economy. Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil stated that the current migration system is broken and is failing businesses, migrants, and Australians, and it cannot continue to do so. The government intends to expedite and simplify the visa process for high-skilled professionals and take steps to retain international students.

Furthermore, temporary skilled visa holders, who were previously denied the opportunity to apply for permanent residency, will be able to do so by the end of this year. The Australian government is also looking to end the decade-long freeze on the minimum wage for skilled migrant workers. The Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold, which had been frozen at AUD 53,900 ($35,600) a year since 2013 by a previous government, would see a new minimum wage of AUD 70,000 ($46,300) come into effect from July 1.

Clare O’Neil, Home Affairs Minister commented: “What has emerged is a system where it is increasingly easy for migrants to come to Australia in search of a low-paid job, but increasingly difficult for migrants with the skills that we desperately need. One of the reasons there is so much exploitation in Australia is because we have allowed low-wage migration programs to operate in the shadows.

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Three out of the four local authorities with the most high-paying senior roles are within London

Research has been carried out to see if there is a regional bias – when it comes to where the highest number of senior positions are held. carried out research to shed light on which UK local authorities and regions had the highest and lowest concentrations of senior roles.

Key Findings:

  • The largest disparity of where senior positions are held is between Chelsea and Kensington (26.6%) and Kingston Upon Hull (7%), closely followed by Westminster (22.55%) compared to only (7.8%) in Middlesbrough.
  • Comparing 10 regions across England and Wales, the average concentration of such roles is 12.23%
  • The South East (14.88%) and London (14.55%) have a higher concentration of senior roles in comparison to Wales (10.51%) and the North East (9.88%).

Jonathan Merry, CEO of, said: “This data shows that inequality in professional opportunities is less about broad regional divides – and more about specific areas of high concentration or deprivation. Chelsea is just an hour from Barking, yet has more than 3x more senior officials.”

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Demands for higher pay puts pressure on corporate budgets

With the Cost-of-Living crisis and rising inflation, business leaders are being warmed by increasing numbers of the UK workforce seeking job security and better pay – making attracting and retaining the best talent challenging.

Recruitment specialists, Robert Half’s  Jobs Confidence Index (JCI)  – an economic confidence tracker produced in association with the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) every quarter found that, despite a small dip towards the end of last year, the JCI remains in positive territory at 19.9.

The Index also revealed that workers remain confident about their job security, with the search and progression pillar up 1.6 points quarter on quarter. These statistics are indicative of the skills shortages driving up both competition for talent and worker confidence.

  • 7% feel confident about their career and progression prospects in the next five years (in line with the firm’s Candidate Sentiment Survey published earlier in the year, revealing that job seeker confidence is at an all-time high).
  • 47% say they were looking for a new job – up eight percentage points on last years’ figures.
  • 43% of those actively searching for a new role wanted a better salary.

According to Robert Half, employers need to strike the right balance between offering competitive remuneration, progression plans and providing other benefits such as learning and development opportunities – if a sustainable talent attraction solution is to be developed.

Matt Weston, Senior Managing Director UK & Ireland, at Robert Half said: “The high job confidence we’re seeing in the employment market at a time when the economy is sluggish is putting pressure on corporate budgets as higher salaries are increasingly sought. The challenge for employers will be finding the right balance of financial and non-financial incentives to ensure unrealistic pay rises don’t have a detrimental impact on the bottom line. Leaders need to be mindful  that, while they can appease staff and new recruits with modest pay rises, with skills in short supply, competitors could easily poach their most valuable resource. While above-inflation pay rises aren’t sustainable for many firms, another talent exodus could soon be on the cards if retention plans aren’t implemented.”

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Compensation top of mind despite recession concerns

According to a survey by iHire, 77.9% of US employers gave pay raises in the past six months, despite economic downturn concerns. The pay raises were given due to merit, performance, pay compression or the rising cost of living.

Lisa Shuster, Chief People Officer at iHire commented: “Compensation is top of mind for employers and their workforces. Now is the time for organizations to ensure they are compensating employees fairly while avoiding pay compression. The good news is that most employers do not appear overly worried about a recession and continue to invest in their most valuable business asset: their people.”

Of the 436 employers surveyed, just 22.1% had not given raises recently. Of that 22.1% that did not give a raise, 69.6% said they couldn’t afford to give raises, and 32.6% said they were preparing for an economic downturn or tightening their 2023 budgets. In addition, 13.0% reported poor or stagnant employee performance, and 13.0% were unsure how to determine fair compensation.

iHire also surveyed 305 workers and found that 23.9% of respondents had asked for a raise in the past six months, and 60.3% got a raise upon asking, according to the report. Of the 76.1% of workers who had not asked for a raise, 50.0% already received a raise recently and 25.6% did not know how to negotiate their salary. In addition, 23.2% were afraid to ask or approach their supervisor for a raise and 11.0% did not think their performance was deserving of a raise.

For the report, iHire surveyed 436 employers and 305 workers in 57 industries across the US in February.

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Flexible working and greater use of tech top the list

Recruiters predict a greater demand for better pay, flexible working, a greater reliance on tech, and a positive working culture in 2023. This is according to new research by digital payroll solution Cool Company. The research also revealed that 25% of recruiters believe businesses will rely more on the contract workforce in the coming months.

According to the study, flexible, tech-driven working lies on the horizon. The research found that 53% of recruiters agree that flexible working is the main priority of current job candidates

A further 50% said we would see a greater reliance on technology – including remote interviewing (40%). Diversity and inclusion were also high on the list at 39%.

Twenty-five percent of agencies believe there will be greater demand for the contract workforce, with 58% saying they experienced a significant uplift in overseas contractor placements last year. A further 35% suggested an increase in contractors working remotely in the UK.

Almost half of the recruiters surveyed believe that one of the best ways to attract top talent is flexible working, including remote working. A further 40% suggest hybrid working is a key benefit. In addition, one in five recruiters think that the global talent shortage will continue to be a challenge for businesses in 2023, suggesting that anything that gives a competitive edge must be considered.

Other projected talent-grabbing trends included increasing employee benefits (43%) and creating a positive working culture (40%). Increased pay is, of course, always a factor (50%).

Kris Simpson, Country Manager UK at Cool Company, comments: The UK employment scene is facing something of a perfect storm at the moment. With a global talent shortage and a local cost of living crisis, employers are having to do a lot to both retain their existing employees and attract new talent to their businesses.

‘The contract workforce has the potential to provide the answer to that problem. With highly skilled professionals available more or less on demand. But like employees, contractors are looking for a better work-life balance, meaning that placements that allow for remote working are a lot more appealing. While competitive remuneration remains a key draw.”

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56% of companies will increase average base pay by 3%

According to research by Payscale, fewer organizations plan to give pay increases this year. It found that only 80% of companies plan to give pay increases this year compared to 92% who planned to do so last year.

However, 56% of organizations say they will increase average base pay by more than 3%, up from 53% of firms last year who planned similarly sized increases.

Payscale also found that the percent of organizations planning to give formal pay increase twice annually has more doubled since last year, and 86% of firms will give raises out of cycle due to inflation, the rising cost of living and in preparation for pay transparency.

The report also found that with pay transparency on the rise, 45% of organizations currently include pay ranges in job postings, up from 22% last year. Additionally, 48% of organizations say pay transparency legislation is driving changes to improve compensation strategy.

Ruth Thomas, Chief Product Evangelist at Payscale commented: “Pay transparency is likely to continue expanding, with new legislation being proposed in more locations to ensure fair pay for employees. This is great news as pay transparency has been shown to help close the gender pay gap. In order to publish pay ranges with confidence, organizations first need to take on internal pay equity.”

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94% of those who quit their jobs have no regrets about leaving

A report from The Conference Board has revealed that as the Great Resignation’s momentum continues, one-third of workers are actively looking for a new job.

According to the report, 94% of those who left their company in 2021 do not regret their decision with respondents stating that if given a choice to return to their previous organization, a quarter said they likely would.

Rebecca Ray, executive VP of Human Capital at The Conference Board commented: “Despite worries of a recession — and the hiring slowdown and layoffs that often result from a downturn — the labor market remains strong. And the robust jobs market is continuing to empower workers. Our survey results reveal [workers] continue to want more flexibility and higher pay, and they’ll go elsewhere to attain these benefits. But slowing economic growth makes the decision to jump ship riskier. To retain talent, companies should work with their employees to determine to what extent they can accommodate their needs.”

Insights from the report include:

Job seeking: The Great Resignation isn’t over. Thirty-one percent of respondents are actively looking for a new job, while 28% are unsure if they will quit in the next six months. Only 38% indicated they would like to stay with their current company.

Flexibility a driver: Seventeen percent of workers stated that they voluntarily left their company within the last year for a flexible work location, flexible work schedule or the ability to work from home/anywhere with other top reasons for quitting were higher pay and career advancement, cited by 22% and 14%, respectively. Thirty-seven percent of individual contributors quit for more flexibility, compared to 18% of CEOs. Additionally, more flexibility, higher pay and career advancement were the top factors that would influence workers’ decision to stay at their company.

Fatigue: Job fatigue is driving workers to quit, especially women and millennials. Eleven percent quit their jobs over the last year because of workload. A quarter of millennials quit because of job fatigue, while 25% of women left because of job fatigue, compared to 13% of men.

Pay expectations: Fifty-two percent of Gen X and 47% of Baby Boomers said higher pay would influence their decision to stay with their organization. Seventy-four percent of millennials said the same. Meanwhile, 61% of individual contributors would likely stay at their organization for higher pay, compared to 22% of CEOs.

CEO turnover: Forty-five percent of CEOs said they left their organization for a stronger connection to mission and purpose, while 36% left because they had greater faith in the positive trajectory of their new company. The survey included more than 1,100 individual professional workers. It was conducted from June 21 to June 28.

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