Essential Report

TRENDS: Bosses’ flexibility arguments a bit of a stretch

May 28, 2012

Jackie Woods says the bosses’ enthusiasm for casual workers is self interest at work.

Australia’s business lobby has donned its loose cotton pants and signed up for yoga. And like many fitness enthusiasts, they can’t stop talking about it. It’s flexibility, flexibility, flexibility.

Profits down, or just not high enough? Penalty rates getting on your nerves? Productivity sluggish? For big business, workplace ‘flexibility’ is the cure-all.

The employer-driven agenda to increase workplace flexibility has led to a rise in casual work arrangements in Australia, a sleeper issue catapulted into the headlines by the ACTU campaign on insecure work.

This has led to some extraordinary claims from business about the social benefits of casual work that follow a few predictable lines of argument.

Read more at the Drum

Trust in Groups

Jun 15, 2010

Q. And how much trust do you have in the following groups to represent the interests of people like you?

Total a lot/some trust A lot of trust Some trust A little trust No trust at all Don’t know
Environment groups 38% 8% 30% 28% 22% 11%
Unions 33% 8% 25% 27% 30% 10%
Business lobby groups 21% 4% 17% 30% 35% 15%
Religious groups 20% 5% 15% 24% 43% 13%
Mining companies 20% 2% 18% 27% 40% 13%
Banks 15% 2% 13% 26% 49% 10%
The media 14% 1% 13% 33% 43% 9%

38% said they have a lot or some trust in environment groups and 33% have a lot/some trust in unions. Banks (15%) and the media (14%) were the least trusted groups.

49% had no trust at all in banks and 43% had no trust at all in religious groups and the media.

51% of Labor voters have trust in unions and 47% have trust in environment groups. The most trusted groups for Liberal/National voters are mining companies (32%) and business lobby groups (31%). Comments »


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.