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The number of people engaged in a temporary working arrangement makes up a significant portion of the Australian labour force. But how much do Australian businesses really know about the temporary workforce?

To help clear up some of the mysteries surrounding this segment of employees, we conducted an extensive series of surveys in 2011 and 2014 that will help enterprises operating across a range of industries better understand their temporary workers.

Why do people pursue temporary work?

While there are myriad of reasons behind why a person might hold a temporary position, our research found a few common motivators. More than 1 in 3 respondents cited flexibility as their key reason to engage in temporary work, while 30 per cent said that they found the variety of work appealing. However, the vast majority (65 per cent) would prefer to move to a permanent arrangement in their most recent role, if the opportunity arose.

Are temporary workers aware of their rights and responsibilities?

Despite the challenges of onboarding temporary workers, an overwhelming number of people (96 per cent) said they were partly or fully aware of their rights and responsibilities within their company.

There’s also a strong understanding among temporary workers of workplace health and safety (WHS) procedures, with 92 per cent of people recognising that there are multiple parties responsible for ensuring their wellbeing on the job.

Do temporary workers feel safe in their work environment?

Perhaps thanks in part to WorkPro’s on-hire employee safety training, 90 per cent of temporary workers are satisfied with the level of WHS information their organisation provides. As a result, almost three quarters (74 per cent) of contractors feel just as safe in their working environment as permanent employees.

Insights into the levels of health and safety awareness among temporary workers.Insights into the levels of health and safety awareness among temporary workers.

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