CEO of HR firm Drake International Christopher Ouizeman says contract work is the new normal, and that it's ultimately a good thing.

"Contract workers are generally paid at a higher rate than permanent employees," he said.

"We are seeing a real trend towards contract work from employers right now. The mix-and-match model of contract work allows businesses to hire people with essential skills that will benefit their business, whether it’s for ongoing work or short-term projects they have in the pipeline.

"Once they realise what this means in terms of flexibility and affordability, many companies and candidates see contracting as the most practical and beneficial option."

However, underemployment hit 13% during the COVID-19 pandemic, and has experienced a strong trend upwards since the 2008-09 global financial crisis (graph below). 

Need somewhere to store cash and earn interest? The table below features introductory savings accounts with some of the highest interest rates on the market.

Update resultsUpdate
BankSavings AccountBase Interest Rate Max Interest Rate Total Interest Earned Introductory Term Minimum Amount Maximum Amount Minimum Monthly Deposit Minimum Opening Deposit ATM Access Joint Application TagsFeaturesLinkCompare
4.75% p.a.
5.35% p.a.
Intro rate for 4 months
then 4.75% p.a.
$518
4 months
$0
$249,999
$0
$0
Featured
  • A high-interest online savings account with no monthly fees, easy withdrawals and award-winning digital banking
  • No withdrawal notice periods or interest rate penalties
  • Save up to 10% on eGift cards at over 50 retailers with Macquarie Marketplace
Bonus rate of 5.50%
Conditions apply.
5.50% p.a.
$556
$0
$100,000
$0
$0
Featured *Rate varies on savings amount
  • Deposit $500 per month to get bonus interest
  • No balance growth needed or card transactions necessary.
  • Tiered bonus rates apply. Earn our best rate on your first $100k. (TMDs at ubank.com.au)
  • 5.50% p.a. available on total savings up to $100K.
  • 5.00% p.a. applies to savings between $100K-250K.
2.85% p.a.
3.35% p.a.
Intro rate for 4 months
then 2.85% p.a.
$319
4 months
$0
$49,999
$0
$0
Featured
  • For deposit amounts $0 - $49,999
  • New ING personal savings customers receive an introductory bonus 0.50% p.a. variable kick starter rate for the first 4 months on balances up to $500,000.
  • Reverts to variable ongoing rate. T&Cs apply.
0.55% p.a.
Bonus rate of 4.95%
Conditions apply.
5.50% p.a.
$556
$0
$100,000
$1,000
$0
  • Deposit at least $1,000+ each month from an external source
  • Make 5 or more eligible transactions
  • Grow your savings balance each month
0.55% p.a.
Bonus rate of 5.00%
Conditions apply.
5.55% p.a.
$561
$0
$100,000
$2,000
$0
0.10% p.a.
Bonus rate of 5.40%
Conditions apply.
5.50% p.a.
$556
$1
$25,000
$200
$1
0.05% p.a.
Bonus rate of 5.45%
Conditions apply.
5.50% p.a.
$556
$0
$50,000
$1,000
$0
For customers aged 14-35 years
0.50% p.a.
Bonus rate of 4.85%
Conditions apply.
5.35% p.a.
$541
$1
$50,000
$500
$1
0.05% p.a.
Bonus rate of 5.30%
Conditions apply.
5.35% p.a.
$541
$0
$250,000
$1,000
$0
0.30% p.a.
Bonus rate of 4.70%
Conditions apply.
5.00% p.a.
$505
$0
$100,000
$$formattedMinMonthlyDep.format("%,d",$!{product.minimumMonthlyDeposit})
$1
0.01% p.a.
Bonus rate of 5.24%
Conditions apply.
5.25% p.a.
$531
$0
$99,999
$100
$0
Bonus rate of 5.25%
Conditions apply.
5.25% p.a.
$531
$0
$1,000,000
$20
$1
More savings accounts
Important Information and Comparison Rate Warning

All products with a link to a product provider’s website have a commercial marketing relationship between us and these providers. These products may appear prominently and first within the search tables regardless of their attributes and may include products marked as promoted, featured or sponsored. The link to a product provider’s website will allow you to get more information or apply for the product. By de-selecting “Show online partners only” additional non-commercialised products may be displayed and re-sorted at the top of the table. For more information on how we’ve selected these “Sponsored”, “Featured” and “Promoted” products, the products we compare, how we make money, and other important information about our service, please click here. Rates correct as of . View disclaimer.

But Mr Ouizeman told Savings.com.au there's already a change of mindset happening, and a secure-job-for-30-years mantra is a thing of the past.

"Life moving forward will be about counting upon oneself rather than others," he said.

"The mindset change has already occurred in most sectors. There is no such thing as single company wholesale jobs for life. Job security is a thing of the past."

However, Mr Ouizeman said this isn't necessarily a bad thing - instead, contract work and a more casualised workforce enables flexibility for both employee and employer.

He also envisions a future where everyone is, in part, their own small business owner.

"A large percentage of the new generation appear to be stimulated by variety and choice and appear to dislike containment, as such, 'portfolio careers' accommodates this preference," he said.

"Interestingly, there are many companies who actually view long tenure with both the same company in the same role as a negative.

"They perceive people to be institutionalised which can be career limiting. I believe it was General Electric under the late Jack Welch who actively rotated their executive leadership base from business to business every few years to maintain their edge."

General Electric's net income was at negative $5.4 billion in 2019, with its share price at $6.66 now, down from nearly $60 in the year 2000.

Saving for retirement and a rainy day

Contract work often features no provisions for annual leave or superannuation, however it often comes with a 25% loading, which is supposed to go towards funding retirement.

Mr Ouizeman said a "well-managed" worker can account for this.

"The benefit of being a contractor is that you charge a loading for the lack of permanency," he said.

"The current loading is circa 25%, it is therefore expected that the loading will be put aside to cover superannuation, annual and sick leave.

"Well managed contractors, provision for all the entitlements extended to permanent employees and also benefit from the tax advantages of self-employment."

However, Mr Ouizeman did say some types of workers may struggle with contract-based work.

"It is true there are some who do struggle as they are unable to find sufficient hours of work per week or month," he said.

"It has been shown that contracting senior executives such as CEOs can be problematic, especially if linked to short term incentives.

"During start-ups this works fine but for established companies, taking a longer term view to C-Suite employment generally leads to more sustainable outcomes."

Ideas gaining traction

Already the topic of automation and the future of jobs has found traction in political circles, most notably overseas with former US Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang.

Author of 'The War on Normal People', Yang outlined a case for universal basic income (UBI) as a supplement to offset dwindling job security and automation, and made it one of his key policies as a Democratic candidate.

"We need to adapt our measurements to include metrics that actually matter to us. Things like environmental quality, childhood success rates, mental health, freedom from substance abuse and health-adjusted life expectancy," he said in a Quora post.

"If we measure these instead of GDP, we’ll focus our efforts on improving our lives.

"The Fed classifies about 40% of jobs as either repetitive manual or repetitive cognitive, and thus potentially subject to automation.

"The more resilient categories are non-repetitive manual work (e.g., hairdressers, house cleaners) or non-repetitive cognitive work (e.g., designers, coders)."





Ready, Set, Buy!


Learn everything you need to know about buying property – from choosing the right property and home loan, to the purchasing process, tips to save money and more!

With bonus Q&A sheet and Crossword!

By subscribing you agree to our privacy policy