Essential Report

Impact of Casualisation of work

Mar 30, 2021

Q. Approximately 35% of Australia’s workforce is now employed on a casual or contract basis.

Casual employees are not entitled to annual or sick leave or superannuation. They also face greater employment uncertainty. However, people choose casual work as it can provide higher wages and more flexibility in terms of hours.

Overall, do you think casual work has been good or bad for the following people or groups?

  NET: Good NET: Bad Very good Quite good Neither good, nor bad Quite bad Very bad
Employers 65% 11% 22% 43% 24% 8% 3%
The economy 46% 19% 13% 33% 35% 14% 6%
Individual workers 42% 29% 12% 30% 29% 19% 10%
The nation 41% 26% 11% 30% 33% 18% 8%
For you personally 30% 17% 12% 18% 53% 9% 8%
  • Casual labour is seen to most benefit employers (65% think casual work has been very good or quite good) and the economy (46%).
  • While 42% of people think casual work has been good for individual workers, 29% think it has been very bad or quite bad.
  • Around a third of people (30%) say casual work has been good for them personally.


Read Essential's ongoing research on the public response to Covid-19.

Sign up for updates

Receive the Essential Report in your inbox.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.