With unpredictable and irregular patterns of work in conjunction with a high unemployment rate, labour hire employees are finding it more difficult than ever to live the great Australian Dream.
The Australian Dream has long been that success and security in life is built around home ownership, the idea that no matter how hard times may be economically or otherwise- owing a little piece of Australia for yourself is something that will hold your family in good stead. For labour hire employees, the great Australian Dream is one that is becoming increasing hard to obtain.
Labour hire by nature is a very transient way to make a living and although there may be the position that offers regular and consistent hours, an employee can be relieved with only one hours’ notice. This model of employment makes it near impossible for a financial institution to approve a home loan.
Throughout the mining boom, labour hire employees were able to obtain loans because a proven track record of employment- usually six to twelve months- was generally enough and with the large wages and the amount of work, for some it appeared the money would be rolling in forever.
The undercurrent was that they were still labour hire employees - as we have seen over the past few years with a drop in commodity prices and sudden job cuts- were exposed to sudden termination of employment with no redundancy to fall back on.
The current climate is tough for those who have felt the pinch as the resource sector as slowed down. Whether they be ill-advised, under prepared, naive or a victim of savvy financial institutions there are a lot of current and former labour hire employees who are now faced with looming debt that for the foreseeable future at least will be impossible to repay.
Labour hire companies, contracting companies and even government employment agencies should be offering tutorials and more information to labour hire employees, ensuring that people are educated about the type of work they are undertaking and the risks associated with attaching debt to these often unsecured positions.
By Chris Cantatore
Senior Recruitment Consultant