Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 November 2021) . . Page.. 3182 ..
prioritise which industries to tackle and whether this is effectively targeting the most vulnerable workers in our city.
A concern for justice and equity means using a gender lens, especially when we are talking about superannuation. Women retire with 42 per cent less super than men, on average. Statistics about other genders are difficult to find, but are likely to reflect a similar gap.
This economic inequality is hugely impacted by the fact that the two industries that employ the most women in the ACT are also the lowest paid industries. It will probably surprise none of you that one of the lowest paid sectors is accommodation and food services, otherwise known as hospitality. Another is retail trade. Both industries were heavily impacted by job losses during the 2020 and 2021 lockdowns in the ACT, once again impacting continuity of employment and opportunities to earn a living wage, yet alone accrue long service leave.
As Mr Pettersson’s motion notes, more and more people are employed casually and insecurely, meaning that 75 per cent of Australians do not stay in their jobs for enough time to accrue long service leave. These workers deserve long service leave if they continue working in the same sector of the workforce.
In fact, as my Greens colleagues have raised here previously, there is a real question about whether it is time for Australia’s long service scheme to go through a fundamental transformation. All long service leave could be portable, recognising that many people change employers and industries frequently.
As my colleagues noted when Ms Cody brought on her motion to extend the portable long service leave scheme to hairdressers in the Assembly last year, the time has come to broaden the scheme to other sectors. All workforces are becoming more fluid and flexible. This is an opportunity to share the benefits of long service leave with all employees in the ACT, not just those in individually championed industries.
I again thank Mr Pettersson for recognising insecure employees and for giving us the opportunity to again discuss this issue in the Assembly.
MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Manager of Government Business, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Industrial Relations and Workplace Safety, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (5.07): The government knows that safe and secure jobs are good jobs. These principles inform our ambitions and progressive workplace relations reform program. Our position is based on compelling Australian and international evidence.
A World Health Organisation study on the social determinants of health found that temporary workers have shorter life expectancies than people with permanent roles. Poor mental health outcomes are associated with unstable employment arrangements, and employees who believe their work is insecure experience significant detrimental effects on their mental health. Other studies have also found that mental health benefits of work are gained from good-quality jobs. However, the poorest quality of