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The St Vincent de Paul Society supports workers’ rights to safe and fair working conditions (Bigstock)

The St Vincent de Paul Society is marking Social Justice Sunday this weekend with the launch of its new policy statement on secure work for all Australians.

The Society’s position on secure work is underpinned by the principles of Catholic Social Teaching, which prioritise the dignity of the person. 

As a lay Catholic organisation, the society supports workers’ rights to safe and fair working conditions and a minimum wage based on justice and equity – one that covers the needs of a person and provides them with flexibility as well as security for the future.

The society also supports the restatement of commitments made at the ALP’s 49th National Conference towards making Australia a decent work and fair wage country, with a minimum wage that is a living wage.

The type of casual employment that exists in Australia is shared by no other developed country. Lacking are the guarantee of working hours or continued employment, entitlements to paid leave and specification in industrial awards of higher minimum rates of pay than apply to non-casual employees.

“If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that casual and insecure employment disproportionately impacts vulnerable groups, including women, young people, people on visas and people living with disability,” said Mark Gaetani, the society’s national president.

“Insecure employment is prevalent in sectors where employees have been chronically underpaid, such as in retail, hospitality, health, child and aged care.

“We welcome efforts by the Australian Government to increase wages in the child and aged care sectors, and in the passing of the Fair Work Legislation Amendment Bill 2022.”

The Society calls on the Government to:

  • implement commitments made to address wage suppression and undervalued jobs
  • implement the ALP’s National Platform to review mutual obligation requirements and employment programs to provide the help that people need based on trust and shared accountabilities
  • implement pathways to assist the underemployed and the long-term unemployed.

Details: Secure work.


Secure workers rights are human rights (St Vincent de Paul Society )