Two-thirds of workers impacted by COVID-19

27 April 2020

Over two-thirds of working Australians have seen their employment affected by Government restrictions put in place for COVID-19, according to research from Roy Morgan.

Impacts on workers included:

  • 25% said their work hours have been reduced;
  • 18% said they had been stood down for a period of time; 
  • 16% said they had an increase in their work hours;
  • 16% said they had not had any work offered;
  • 11% cited some other change to their employment such as being put on enforced leave, changes to rostering, social distancing measures or other precautions put in place;
  • 10% said they are now working from home;
  • 9% said they had their pay reduced for the same number of work hours; and
  • 4% said they had been made redundant.

For those working in organisations with over 1,000 employees, 54% had their impacted by COVID-19.

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The industries which felt the least impact were agriculture, wholesale trade, transport and storage, construction, electricity, gas and water, and public administration and defence.

Michele Levine, Roy Morgan chief executive, said unemployment estimates showed 1.4 million people were forced out of work during March due to the Government’s restrictions.

“The impact has hit sole traders particularly hard; three-quarters of sole traders have had their employment impacted due to the COVID-19 crisis,” Levine said.

“The disparate impact the coronavirus is having on different types of organisations underlines why it is so important that Government stimulus to support those in need is properly targeted and calibrated to derive the most benefit.

“It also shows Governments must clearly outline a plan to emerge from the pandemic and transition the private sector back to a sustainable, and profitable, ‘new normal’ in the months ahead.”

Roy Morgan conducted interviews with 1,444 Australians aged over 14 last week.

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