BUSN20016: Factors Affecting Casual Employment In Retail Essay


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What should we know about precarious employment and health in 2025?



The following project examines the impact of casual and part time work in the retail sector. Casual employment in the retail sector started to increase since 1970 and currently the casual and part time workers comprise a permanent minority community in the industry. As informed by Imbert and Papp (2015), Casual employment have been mostly in the seven sectors of the retail sector, namely drugs, automotive, general merchandise, furniture, clothing and the other sectors.

The retail sector faces high rush of customers and in order to handle this large number of customer’s casual employment is highly required in this sector. The casual workers accept lower wages, which makes it convenient for organisations to appoint them. However, one major consequence of the casual work is workplace stress which have severe consequences. The economic pressure for casual employment is huge (Benach et al. 2016). There is huge competition for the posts and the pressure to retain the positions in the company are equally huge. Nevertheless, the company have a lot of options in the form of casual employment candidates. Besides stress is also evoked from the factors like uncertainty of earnings and payments uncertainty. All the workers are up to earning a living wage.

The government requires organisations to give living wages and various other allowances to permanent workers and because of this, casual employment is in vogue in retail sector. However, one major issue is that the casual employees have to compromise on the benefits from the workplaces in comparison to the permanent employees. The working conditions of casual employees are very poor. In fact, Campbell and Price (2016), opines that they have no certainty of work shifts. Hence on a certain day they may be working for 8 hours and on the other day they might be serving for a shift time of 10 hours. As an outcome, they cannot preserve the options of continuing a different job for earning a wholesome living wage as the work hours of the places might clash as an impact of the lack of certainty regarding the work hours in the retail companies.

A third impact of the casual employment is that the turnover rate of the employees in retail sector is very high and as an impact the recruitment costs incurred by the company is also very high. Nevertheless, the companies attempt to adjust the additional by allocating marginal allowances and minimal wages to the employees. This makes the working conditions for the employees of the retail sector more deplorable.

Fourthly, sales employees have no scope of getting promotions in managerial levels. Hence, not many permanent employees join this sector. This makes the organisations rely on casual employees majorly. However, for the casual employees also, there is no scope of future promotions for the casual employees of the retail sector. According to the reports of workplace surveys, the casual employees who have served a tenure of 3 to5 years or more, also do not have chances of less than 35% of getting a permanent placement in the company (Degryse, 2016).

The casual employees are also often appointed during the shopping seasons when the customers’ rush is the maximum. Naturally, the employees who are employed as casual workers in the companies do not receive proper training regarding sales and customer management. They are directly made to join the workforce. As an outcome, their key skills are not developed and their chances of getting better wages and joining a better organisations on leaving the current organisation also gets reduced.

Objectives of research work

The major objectives of this research work are:

  • To identify the major domains of the retail industry which appoints most number of casual employees.
  • To identify the working conditions in which the casual employees are operating.
  • To highlight the adversities that the employees would be facing while working in this sector.
  • To highlight the reasons why casual employment is on the rise in the retail sector and how it assists or demotes the retail sector

Brief Methodology

In the course of this report, the researcher would undergo a quantitative research. The empirical works that includes employee feedback would be used as reference. Besides, external survey reports that identifies the issues faced by the employees would be used as research materials also. Other publications that have explored the same topic would also be consulted as evidence materials.


Benach, J., Vives, A., Tarafa, G., Delclos, C., & Muntaner, C. (2016). What should we know about precarious employment and health in 2025? Framing the agenda for the next decade of research. International journal of epidemiology, 45(1), 232-238.

Campbell, I., & Price, R. (2016). Precarious work and precarious workers: Towards an improved conceptualisation. The Economic and Labour Relations Review, 27(3), 314-332.

Degryse, C. (2016). Digitalisation of the economy and its impact on labour markets, 12(2), 12-19.

Grimmer, L., Miles, M. P., & Grimmer, M. (2016). The performance advantage of business planning for small and social retail enterprises in an economically disadvantaged region. European Journal of International Management, 10(4), 403-421.

Imbert, C., & Papp, J. (2015). Labor market effects of social programs: Evidence from india's employment guarantee. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 7(2), 233-63.

Kotey, B. A. (2017). Flexible working arrangements and strategic positions in SMEs. Personnel Review, 46(2), 355-370.

Malgas, B., Khatle, T., & Mason, R. B. (2017). Job creation in the South African retail sector. The Retail and Marketing Review, 13(1), 1-13.

Markey, R., & McIvor, J. (2018). Regulating casual employment in Australia. Journal of Industrial Relations, 0022185618778084.

O'Brien, M., Markey, R., & Pol, E. (2018). The Short Run Impact of Penalty Rate Cuts on Employment Outcomes in Retail and Hospitality Sectors in Australia. Economic Papers: A journal of applied economics and policy.

Price, R. (2016). Controlling routine front line service workers: an Australian retail supermarket case. Work, employment and society, 30(6), 915-931

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