Woman in a business suit sitting at a table listening to two other women

Women’s insecure work forum

WCHM will hold a forum for women to talk about insecure work in the ACT on 31 August 2017. The information we receive from women at the forum will be included when WCHM appears at the hearings for the inquiry into insecure employment in the ACT by the Legislative Assembly’s Standing Committee on Education, Employment and Youth Affairs. We’ll also use this information in our ongoing advocacy on the socio-economic determinants of women’s health.

We’re hoping to hear from women who are casual or contract workers, underemployed (not getting as many hours as they would like), or finding it difficult to find full time or permanent work. Questions we’d like to answer include:

  • What effect does this have on your family?
  • Are you experiencing financial stress because of this situation?
  • Does this make you vulnerable to unfair treatment from employers or work colleagues?
  • How does this affect your ability to pay the rent or mortgage?
  • What impact does this have on your physical or mental health?

Download the invitation or RSVP now.

The forum will be held from 12pm til 2pm on 31 August 2017 at the Theo Notaras Centre’s West Wing Room in the city. Tea, coffee and afternoon tea will be provided, so it would help us if you could RSVP.

According to the May Labour Force data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, women in the ACT have higher unemployment than men, at 3.7% compared to 3.4%. Women in the ACT are also more likely to be underemployed, with 6.7% of women and 5.2% of men not working as many hours as they would like. For young women, the situation is even worse – young people aged 15-24 in the ACT have an unemployment rate of 10.5%. For women with disabilities, the unemployment rate in 2015 was 8.3%, while the unemployment rate for people with no reported disability in the same period was 5.1%.

There are almost as many women working part time in contract or casual employment as there are working full time, while only half as many men work part time in contract or casual employment
as work full time. Of the casual or contract workforce in part time positions, 59.4% are women.

In addition to the unemployment, underemployment, and casual or contract employment issues, many women are working at lower rates of pay because of the high numbers of women in retail, hospitality, childcare and aged care, and community services work. These are women doing jobs where they are on their feet or dealing with the public all day or night, or have the responsibility of other people in their care, and yet they have low pay, lack the security of a permanent job, or can’t get as many hours as they need to pay the bills.

For more information, please read our submission.