Flexibility and security in employment: findings from the 2012 Survey of Working Life

19 Mar 2014

This report presents findings, mainly from the 2012 Survey of Working Life, on non-standard employment, job security, and job flexibility in New Zealand’s labour market.

Summary of key points

Key findings in the report are:

  • A third of employed New Zealanders could be described as non-standard workers in that they were either self-employed, temporary employees, or part-time workers.
  • Just under 1 in 10 employees were in temporary jobs, with almost half of these being casual workers.
  • Around half of those working in temporary jobs were doing so because of employment or industry conditions, and a similar proportion said they would prefer an ongoing or permanent job.
  • Almost half of all employed people had been working for the same employer or in the same business for five years or more, while fewer than 1 in 5 had been in their jobs for less than a year.
  • Most permanent employees felt reasonably secure in their jobs, with 8 in 10 saying there was almost no chance, or only a low chance, of losing their jobs in the next 12 months.
  • Almost half of all employees said that they had flexible hours at least sometimes, meaning they could start and finish work at different times if they wanted to.
  • Six in 10 temporary employees experienced changeable hours from week to week to suit their employers’ needs, and fewer than 3 in 10 always had advance notice of their work schedule.
  • Almost a third of employed people spent some time working from home over a four-week period, but for most employees it was a relatively small number of hours.
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