80% of Casual Workers Say Negative Media Coverage Influences Their Job Choices

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Humanforce, a Sydney based global provider of workforce management solutions, has revealed that negative media coverage can impact Australian businesses’ ability to attract casual workers. Eighty percent of respondents in Humanforce’s casual worker survey stated that media coverage of a company underpaying staff would influence if they would work with that employer.

Humanforce Founder and MD, Bruce Mackenzie, said the survey highlighted how negative media coverage can have long-lasting and costly effects on businesses.

“There have been a number of cases recently involving local businesses underpaying their casual workers,” Bruce said. “Negative media attention makes it harder for any business to attract the best casual workers. This comes at a substantial cost considering a reliable and talented casual worker pool is what supports the success of many Australian businesses.”

The survey also showed that there’s no hiding negative media coverage from potential casual workers, with 66 percent of respondents stating they would conduct an online search to research a new casual employer. And a further 64 percent said they would ask for word of mouth recommendations from current or previous employees before taking a casual job.

From March 1st, new clauses aimed at reducing wage-theft come into effect for casual employees covered by a Modern Award with an annualised salary clause, that will require more stringent record-keeping and overtime control measures.

“By international standards, Australia’s workforce awards and regulations are incredibly complex, which leads to errors,” Bruce said. “And, with the introduction of new practices for payroll aimed at minimising underpayments and non-compliance with awards, employers operating without workforce management solutions will face increasing challenges in this area.”

Workforce management solutions can help employers navigate the complexities of managing casual workers. They help to automate and remove errors when it comes to time and attendance, rostering and scheduling, payroll, as well as managing awards and compliance.

“While workforce management solutions can support employers to meet award requirements, it is critical the systems are configured and customised to specifically meet Australia’s workforce awards and regulations. Off-the-shelf solutions from global software vendors are not positioned to interpret Australian awards, Humanforce, as an Australian-based workforce management solutions provider with local expertise, knowledge and a development and support team on the ground here, is uniquely placed to assist local business with fully customisable solutions for the Australian market.”

Beyond an employer’s media reputation, the casual worker survey highlighted some incentives that employers can offer to attract causal staff. When assessing casual jobs and employers, respondents prioritised businesses that offered guaranteed shifts (60%), a positive and fun work culture (54%), wage incentives (52%), flexibility (47%), employee rewards (45%) and premium wages (41%).