Casual employment: a problematic strategy for the registered clubs sector in New South Wales

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Publication details

Buultjens, J 2001, 'Casual employment: a problematic strategy for the registered clubs sector in New South Wales', Journal of Industrial Relations, col. 43, no. 4, pp. 470-477.

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Since the 1980s casual employment in Australia has been increasing rapidly, especially in service industries like hospitality. There have been a number of explanations suggested for this increase, including increased flexibility and lower costs. The casualisation of the hospitality sector would suggest that the benefits from casual employment are straightforward. However, the situation may not be so straightforward. This paper uses data from registered clubs in NSW, an important sector of the hospitality industry, to examine the extent of casual employment in the sector and the reasons for it. While the findings do indicate a high level of casual employment in the industry, it appears that club managers are divided over the benefits of a casualised workforce. Most managers believe that casual employment does increase flexibility; however, there is uncertainty amongst managers about the labour cost savings associated with casual employment. Due to these uncertainties, it appears some club managers have adopted a strategy of reducing the level of casual employment in their clubs while other club managers are pursuing a policy of increasing the level of casual employment. These contradictory intentions indicate the problematic nature of casual employment for the sector.