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November 6, 2020

How insecure jobs help to spread Covid-19

By Paul Dennis

6 November

Jim Stanford, an economist, re-tweeted on how the pandemic has shone light on the growing menace of insecure work, mass displacements, remote working trends, and polarisation, with those in the most insecure jobs removed first in the crisis.

More than half of Australia is employed in precarious, temporary, casual, and part-time jobs or are self-employed, the article by Centre for Future Work noted.

Precarious jobs led to not just greater job losses during the coronavirus crisis, but greater community spread of the virus as many were in the practices in private aged care systems where people held multiple jobs leading to transmission between facilities.

The Victoria lockdowns have revealed that work from home, once a novelty, is now wearing thin despite the relaxation in top-down workplace practices.

Well-paid professionals in permanent jobs are also incurring social and economic costs, with risks mounting to run their homes, work long hours, and face income and job insecurities.

Australians’ tendency to work overtime is also expected to be accelerated by the home workplaces.

For instance, the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) found that at least 40% of the people working from home are working overtime and most of them are not being paid for the extra work hours.

Working during the pandemic has also heightened the levels of anxiety among communities, with many subjected to mental health problems.

Reports suggest that more than half the people working from home have increased stress, depression and are inclined to self-harm.

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