A third of New Zealanders are unemployed, afraid of losing their jobs, or only have temporary work-- according to a study conducted by the Council of Trade of Unions. The results of the study were released in a biennial conference in Wellington today.
The study also suggested that temporary workers in New Zealand have limited legal protection compared to workers in most developed nations. The Council of Trade Unions has recommended the creation of new laws like a ban on contracts with "zero hours." In this type of arrangement, workers who are employed have no guaranteed working hours.
Dr Stephen Blumenfield, industrial relations centre director at Victoria University, said the study has filled a knowledge gap about the number of Kiwi workers who have no job security. The study is based on data gathered from two working life surveys of Statistics NZ conducted March 2008 and Dec. 2012.
Mr Blumenfeld said the study did not include the data of Australia unions in which they discovered that 40 per cent of Australian workers did not have secure jobs.
The 30 per cent of insecure jobs in New Zealand is based on workforce measurement including those who are unemployed. The study does not take into account the employers. The number of temporary workers has increased t0 8.6 per cent in Dec. 2012 from 7.7 per cent in 2008.
The number of unemployed workers in New Zealand also increased to 7.2 per cent from 4.5 per cent. Permanent employees who said they had a medium to high probability of losing their jobs in 2014 jumped to 12.6 per cent from 9.3 per cent.
Kiwi workers most at risk of losing their jobs increased to 28.4 per cent, up from 21.5 per cent. The number of self-employed declined from 11.6 per cent to 9.4 per cent. Sole proprietorship businesses were affected by the recession.
Unite Union director Mike Treen said that Kiwis working in the fast food industry has virtually no guaranteed working hours. According to Statistics NZ, the highest rate of temporary work is in the education sector with an increase of 16.7 per cent from 14.2 per cent.
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