This is what life is like for the “under-employed”
My name is William Dai. I have not had work for almost two months. When I do work I never have a stable income. But other things are no different for me; I have to pay the rent and buy food. As a casual worker I don’t know whether I will get a shift tomorrow or not.
When you have no stable income, let alone any right to sick pay or annual leave, when you can’t count on work from Monday to Friday, there is no security.
I wait for a text message before I can go to work. Once I showed up for work on a Monday, after working full time hours the previous week, but I was sent home and told, “you can’t jut show up, you have to wait for a text message.” That means I might not be working for weeks or even months.
I am still registered with the same agency but they don’t have any work for me. They might call me. I have no way of knowing. I ring other agencies too and ask if there is any work and they tell me they will ring me back.
I’m always worrying about money because I never know if I will have work. I have less than $2000 left in my savings. A friend suggested I apply for unemployment benefits. Worried about paying my rent, I went to Centrelink. They told me I need a separation certificate from work. But if I get that from the agency I will have no chance of work. What am I meant to do if I run out of money? All I want is more work but this could force me out of the workforce altogether.
If more and more people find themselves in unreliable work it means there will be a growing number of people looking for work on a daily basis – so much competition for a job. If people don’t have a stable income, how can they feed their family?
The government looks at their unemployment figures and says people like me are employed but there is a difference, it’s not a job you can count on to pay your rent, to pay your power bills, to buy your groceries.
I just want a secure full-time job with a stable income so I can support myself. I don’t mind working hard or physical working conditions. I just want something to do. And I want to be able to think about my future.
Why can’t we have laws to protect casual workers in this country so that labour hire agencies can’t do whatever they want? I think they should follow rules, but there have to be rules for them to follow first.
Comments on this post will close at 8pm AEDT.
Read all about it
Up to the minute Twitter chatter
The latest and greatest
Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…
I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…
In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…