Key Findings

  • More Australian workers rate the economy as ‘not secure’ than at any point this year
  • Perceptions of job security are at the lowest point this year with less than half of Australian workers rating their jobs as secure
  • Support for employers mandating COVID-19 vaccinations soars eight points to 70 per cent of workers backing the initiative
  • Employers knowing employees’ COVID-19 vaccination status is supported by 88 per cent of workers, test status knowledge supported by 90 per cent
  • Vaccination passports have also been welcomed by four in five Australian workers (79%) 

Sydney, Australia 11 October 2021: Australian workers’ confidence in the economy has plummeted to its lowest level this year while their support for employer-mandated COVID-19 vaccinations and vaccination tracking has soared.

The ELMO Employee Sentiment Index for the September Quarter has found the proportion of Australian workers who rate economic security as ‘not secure’ has spiked to 30 per cent. This is an 11 percentage point rise from the June quarter (19%) and the March quarter (20%), representing the greatest recorded this year. 

Workers in Victoria were the highest  to report the economy as ‘not secure’ (34%) with New South Wales on 31 per cent. 

The ELMO Employee Sentiment Index is commissioned by ELMO Software and conducted by independent research firm Lonergan Research each quarter among more than 1,000 geographically dispersed working Australians. The poll data is weighted to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data.

Workers are also cautious about the security of their industries with a five percentage point decline in ratings of ‘secure’ and a four point rise in workers considering their view as neutral. 

Less than half of working Australians believe  that their job is secure with 46 per cent rating their job as ‘secure’. This is down on both the March quarter high of 55 per cent and the June quarter rating (47%). 

The latest round of lockdowns and declining perceptions of economic security may be behind soaring support for tougher COVID-19 measures in the workplace. There has been an eight point rise (70%) in support among working Australians for employers requiring their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 (up from 62% in June quarter).

In a looming challenge for employers preparing to welcome back workers, the proportion of workers uncomfortable working alongside unvaccinated colleagues has climbed to 58 per cent. This is a 14 percentage point rise from the June quarter.

On trend with growing support for mandatory vaccinations in the workplace, Australians are comfortable with their employer knowing their COVID-19 vaccination and test status. Employers knowing an employee’s vaccination status is supported by 88 per cent of workers while knowledge of test status is supported by 89 per cent of workers.

Vaccination passports have also been welcomed by Australian workers with four in five (79%) workers in support.

The largest rise has been seen in perceptions of Australia’s vaccination roll-out with two thirds (66%) of workers believing Australia is on track with its vaccination roll-out. This is up significantly from the June quarter (41%).

Lockdowns and feelings of greater insecurity may also be behind a quarter-on-quarter rise in the proportion of workers taking a mental health day. The September quarter saw 16 per cent of workers report taking a mental health day in the past three months. This is up from 14 per cent in the June quarter and 12 per cent in the March quarter. 

ELMO Software CEO Danny Lessem says employers need to take heed of the message being sent by working Australians.

“Australian workers are feeling more insecure than they have at any point so far this year. They are worried about the state of the economy, their industry and their jobs. It’s up to employers to try and allay their fears.

“The latest spate of lockdowns in New South Wales and Victoria may well be behind the drastic shift in perceived economic security. 

“When it comes to working with the virus, Australian workers are supportive of their employer introducing tough measures to keep the workplace safe. Whether it’s mandating vaccinations or tracking vaccination and test status, the great majority of workers are on board.

“The message from working Australians is clear: they want to get the economy back on track and they want their employer to lead the charge when it comes to working safely with the virus.

“A tough challenge is emerging for employers. The proportion of workers uncomfortable working alongside unvaccinated colleagues has climbed to 58 per cent of the workforce. This is going to take consultation and a deep dive into the data behind the workforce to understand how to move forward.

“The Employee Sentiment Index has also found a double-edged sword for employee wellbeing and mental health. The proportion of workers taking mental health leave has climbed quarter on quarter this year. While it’s positive that people are prioritising their mental health, it is alarming that more and more people are struggling with their mental health.”

Media Enquiries

Note: Demographic comparisons per question are available upon request

Mick Gibb | Communications & Media Manager
+61 423 149 494 | [email protected]

About the ELMO Employee Sentiment Index

The ELMO Employee Sentiment Index is a quarterly study which examines the attitudes, actions and concerns of Australians in the workplace. The research questions ask respondents to both reflect on the past quarter as well as anticipate the months ahead. The report is completed each quarter to provide a rolling index of Australian workers attitudes and behaviours over time.

Methodology

The ELMO Employee Sentiment Report was initiated to gain data and insights into the attitudes, actions and concerns of working Australians. Respondents were asked to reflect on their actions in the three month period between July 2021 to September 2021. The research was commissioned by ELMO Software and conducted by Lonergan Research in accordance with the ISO 20252 standard. Lonergan Research surveyed 1,052 Australian workers aged 18 years and over between 13 September and 20 September, 2021. The research was conducted through a 14-question online survey. Respondents were members of a permission-based panel, geographically dispersed throughout Australia including both capital city and non-capital city areas. After surveying, data was weighted to the latest population estimates sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

About ELMO Software

Established in 2002, ELMO is a cloud-based HR, payroll, expense management and rostering / time & attendance software provider. The company offers customers across Australia, New Zealand and the UK a unified platform to help organisations streamline their people, process and pay. ELMO operates on a software-as-a-service (“SaaS”) business model based on recurrent subscription revenues.  For more information, please visit www.elmosoftware.com.au.

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