ESSENTIAL WORKERS AT RISK OF LOSING JOBS IN CHARITY SECTOR
Hundreds of thousands of workers in mental health, patient support, employment services, emergency relief and health research could lose their jobs if the Morrison Government doesn’t take action to help the charity sector, new modelling has found.
A new report issued today by Social Ventures Australia and the Centre for Social Impact outlined concerns for the charities and not-for-profit sector, which is facing both falling revenue and increased demand for services amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
They found that a 20 per cent fall in revenue to the sector would put nearly 250,000 charity workers out of a job and see as many as one in six charities at high risk of closing down.
Even before the coronavirus crisis, 60 per cent of charities were in a vulnerable financial position, with one in four operating with a surplus of less than five per cent. Another survey of the sector found that by mid-April, 78 per cent of charities reported a downturn in revenue, with more than one in six reporting a drop of more than 30 per cent.
In addition to falling funds, the sector’s volunteer base has shrunk to one third its previous size. Prior to the outbreak of coronavirus, more than 3 million volunteers provided more than $12.7 billion of unpaid labour each year. But more than half of all charities have seen a drastic drop in volunteer activity since the crisis began.
Keeping Australia’s charities afloat is essential.
One in ten working Australians are employed in the charities and not-for-profit sector. Charities employs more than 1.3 million people and their work is more important now than ever, as Australians deal with increasing unemployment and social isolation.
The Morrison Government should support the sector’s calls for support to help charities adjust to a post-coronavirus world.
Charities are often the safety net for people who fall through the cracks. We cannot afford not to help the helpers.
Authorised by Paul Erickson, ALP, Canberra.