Appointed by resolution of the Senate on 10 December 2020, the Senate Select Committee on Job Security was established to inquire into and report on the impact of insecure or precarious employment on the economy, wages, social cohesion and workplace rights and conditions in Australia.
Notwithstanding the protections offered by Parliamentary Privilege, it was the committee's preference to avoid placing workers in a situation where they felt their livelihoods may be at risk. As such, some of the worker testimony in this report was received in-camera, and has been quoted anonymously, with the permission of those workers.
In June 2021, the committee tabled its first interim report, which looked into employment arrangements in the gig economy and the adequacy of existing legislative and policy approaches, and proposed a number of reforms.
Part 1, on insecure work in the aged and disability care sectors, includes five chapters:
- Job security in the aged care sector—presents data and discussion on the sector and its workforce arrangements;
- Impacts of employment arrangements in aged care—on service providers, care workers, their families and communities, and on aged care recipients;
- COVID-19 and insecure work in aged care—looks into the outbreaks during Melbourne's second wave, the impact of working across multiple sites, and the issue of vaccination;
- Insecure work in the disability care sector—a brief introduction to the issue of insecure work in disability care under the National Disability Insurance Scheme; and
- Aged care and disability care: Proposals for reform—discusses proposals for lifting wages and increasing 'working time security' for aged care workers, and increasing job security in the disability care sector.
Part 2, on insecure work in higher education, includes four chapters:
- Job security in higher education—presents data and discussion on the sector, its workforce arrangements, pay and earnings;
- Impacts of employment arrangements in higher education—considers pros and cons of current workforce practices for universities, academics and teaching staff, their families and communities, and students;
- COVID-19 and insecure work in higher education—outlines the dramatic impacts of COVID-19 on the sector, on universities, and on various categories of workers; and
- Higher education: Proposals for reform—discusses the current problems in the sector, then considers proposals for increasing job security and reducing casual and precarious employment in the sector.
Part 3, on job security in the APS and Commonwealth procurement, includes five chapters:
- Job security in the Australian Public Service—presents data and discussion on the sector, its workforce arrangements, and the changes over time;
- Impacts of employment arrangements in the APS—on workers, their families and communities, and service quality;
- Job security and Commonwealth procurement—looks at the role of Commonwealth procurement in promoting secure, high-quality work across the economy;
- Case study: National Broadband Network workforce—a review of the workforce practices associated with the NBN, a major Commonwealth procurement; and
- APS and procurement: Proposals for reform—considers proposals for increasing job security in directly-employed government jobs, as well as through Commonwealth procurement.