Aussie Workers Have Serious Job Security Doubts

Image credit: iStockphoto/zimmytws

Australian workers are feeling very insecure.

The ELMO Employee Sentiment Index for the September Quarter found the proportion of Australian workers who rate economic security as ‘not secure’ has spiked to 30%. This is an 11% rise from the June quarter (19%) and the March quarter (20%). 

The ELMO Employee Sentiment Index is commissioned by ELMO Software and conducted by independent research firm Lonergan Research each quarter among more than 1,000 geographically dispersed working Australians. The poll data is weighted to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data.

When broken down to states, Victorian workers were most insecure about the economy with 34%. NSW came in second at 31%.

More Australians are also feeling insecure about their jobs. Less than half of working Australians surveyed (46%) believed that their job is secure. This is down on the March quarter high of 55% and the June quarter rating of 47%. 

“Australian workers are feeling more insecure than they have at any point so far this year. They are worried about the state of the economy, their industry, and their jobs. It’s up to employers to try and allay their fears,” said Danny Lessem, chief executive officer at ELMO Software.

The latest round of lockdowns and declining perceptions of economic security may be behind soaring support for stricter COVID-19 measures in the workplace. The Index showed an eight-point rise (70%) in support among working Australians for employers requiring their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 (up from 62% in the June quarter).

The proportion of workers uncomfortable working alongside unvaccinated colleagues has climbed to 58%. This is a 14% rise from the June quarter, representing a significant challenge for employers.

In addition, Australians are comfortable with their employer knowing their COVID-19 vaccination and test status. Employers knowing an employee’s vaccination status is supported by 88% of workers, while knowledge of test status is supported by 89%.

Australian workers have also welcomed vaccination passports, with four in five (79%) workers in support.

“The message from working Australians is clear: they want to get the economy back on track, and they want their employer to lead the charge when it comes to working safely with the virus,” said Lessem.

Lockdowns and feelings of greater insecurity may also be behind a quarter-on-quarter rise in the proportion of workers taking a mental health day. The September quarter saw 16% of workers taking a mental health day in the past three months. This is up from 14% in the June quarter and 12% in the March quarter. 

“The Employee Sentiment Index has also found a double-edged sword for employee wellbeing and mental health. The proportion of workers taking mental health leave has climbed quarter on quarter this year. While it's positive that people are prioritizing their mental health, it is alarming that more and more people are struggling with their mental health,” Lessem observed.

Image credit: iStockphoto/zimmytws