The Value Of Secure Work

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Anglicare Australia Highlights the Value of Secure Work

Peak social advocacy organisation Anglicare Australia has released its election Position Paper on Secure Work, highlighting “the immense value of secure work” and calling for a tax and welfare system that supports communities.

The statement claimed if Australia is to maintain a robust and inclusive society, then the creation of secure work and life opportunities for people at risk of social and economic exclusion is “essential”.

Anglicare Australia executive director Kasy Chambers said it was time “to think about the future we want”.

“Work insecurity is one face of an economy that is not operating in the best interest of us all,” Chambers said.

“All over the world people are dealing with uncertainty at many levels: from day-to-day employment, to the changing shape of industry and politics, to the environmental health of the earth as a whole.

“So when it comes to thinking about the future of work in Australia, we need to think about the future we want, not simply respond to the market forces of the day.”

The paper said the workforce had undergone significant change in the last two decades and “its shape, its operations and requirements face further and more rapid change in the near future”.

“The growing problem of insecure work in Australia reflects the fact that while employment conditions are changing in response to emerging economic challenges, this hasn’t resulted in the development of a workforce, workplaces or work culture that can adequately serve the needs of individuals and communities,” the paper said.

“We need to build strong, sustainable local economies that are accountable to individuals and communities.”

According to Anglicare Australia’s paper on secure employment:

  • for many people work underpins their identity, esteem and wellbeing
  • for others, employment provides the security that allows them to engage with and participate in their communities in other ways
  • low paid uncertain work makes it too difficult for those employees and their families to contribute to our society at large
  • all of us need access to lifelong education – because the work we are doing is destined to change.

Chambers said the government needed to invest in the jobs that society needs.

“We call for a tax and welfare system that supports, and does not penalise, people and communities building enterprises that meet local needs,” Chambers said.

“We also argue that it is time to invest properly in the most disadvantaged people our community – for obvious social and economic reasons. And that we should invest in the jobs that a healthy society and planet will need.

“A mantra of jobs and growth rings hollow if it doesn’t reach beyond simplistic market economics and focus on the services and the industries we know we will need.

“And access to education and training will only make sense if they are targeted at the opportunities that our changing world will provide.”

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