The Senate is currently holding an inquiry into ‘insecure’ work. The Terms of Reference state: “…to inquire into and report on the impact of insecure or precarious employment on the economy, wages, social cohesion and workplace rights and conditions….”
Well we, self-employed, independent contractors, gig workers, contractors and so on—that is, people who are their own boss—are seen by labour academics and unions as doing ‘insecure’ work. And they see that as a huge social problem that has to be fixed. The Victorian government wants to ‘fix’ us as a problem by outlawing us. Some fix!!
We say that ‘secure work’ is a “figment of imaginations searching for legal expression”. In other words, ALL work is insecure. What people need is not a ‘secure’ job but continuity and certainty of income. This is a more sensible way of approaching the issue. Trying to manufacture ‘secure’ jobs is just the old left-vs-right thing. It’s plain dumb and doesn’t get us anywhere.
We say that self-employed people need ‘protections’ through commercial regulation, such us the unfair contract laws and pay-on-time laws. These sorts of things provide real, practical solutions.
We were asked to appear before the Senate Committee which we did on Tuesday 27 July (this week).
Here’s our one-page summary of our stance on the issue.
And here’s the 37-minute video of our discussion with Senators on the issue.