4. Impacts of Insecurity

Greater insecurity of employment and income can have a dramatic impact on people’s health and that of their family. The inability to find secure work is strongly linked to depression and mental health issues which can lead to a cycle of insecurity as it makes it harder again for people to find work. Greater insecurity and casualisation also has a downwards impact on the wages and working conditions of those in work as people fight to get any job they can. Both of these have flow-on effects to people’s families and their ability to participate in society. While some of these can be alleviated by extra protections around casualisation and insecurity, there is still a need to protect those still who find themselves affected.

Issues to consider:

  • Can the health system and social support available for those not in paid employment be made more effective to deal with the health impacts of greater insecurity?
  • What support should be available for those picking up the slack of family members working longer hours or supporting a family member who is out of work?

The impacts of casualisation and insecurity can fall hardest on particular segments of society: youth, Maori, Pasifika, women and older workers.

Far too many young people are unemployed. Many find employers are reluctant to take on young staff that lack experience and haven’t had a chance to demonstrate their reliability. Young people need opportunities to prove themselves in the workforce. Innovation is required in this area.

Issues to consider:

  • Should we promote the idea of the “Provincial Experience” – supporting young people to travel into regional New Zealand to work – for say three months – in industries there particularly in horticulture? Young people would benefit from being able to demonstrate their readiness to work as well as gaining a new perspective on what New Zealand has to offer. Regions get the opportunity to show young people there are places for talented people to live well and contribute to regional growth.
  • Can we create more incentives for employers to take on younger workers to give them their first step up the ladder?