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New Zealand research supports global shift in workforce

20 Oct 2014

WooHoo NZ Tax Refunds has undertaken research with the results supporting global trends of more people working multiple jobs.

Developers in the tech industry are known to prefer working as contractors or as their own start up, but the research indicates that contract and part time employment in other sectors is growing.

“We’ve been watching this trend with interest and wanted to know more,” says Cilla Hegarty, WooHoo NZ Tax Refunds CEO.

WooHoo’s own research showed that 93% of their customers overpaid their income tax in the last five years and are owed a tax refund. This number is a stark contrast to some independent research that showed three quarters of the respondents did not think they would get a tax refund.

“Our own stats clearly show that there is a significant majority of the population that potentially have millions of dollars owed to them.”

Hegarty says WooHoo wondered what the impact was of more Kiwis working multiple jobs, being on contract or being in part time employment, who often over pay tax.

“The WooHoo Income Insecurity Index is a way of putting meaning around this change in the workforce and will hopefully help shape future policy around income tax, employment legislation and labour conditions," said Ms Hegarty.

The research showed that:


  • 50% of full time temporary employees believed they may lose their jobs in the next 12 months.

  • 34% of respondents in households earning under $25,000 a year said they were ‘moderately anxious’ or ‘very anxious’ about their income.

  • 33% of respondents working more than one job had a sense of anxiety about income.

  • 79% of respondent aged 18-24 were not anxious about their income even though they are more likely to be changing jobs in the next 12 months.


According to Professor Spoonley, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Humanities and Social Sciences Massey University, up to two thirds of employment in New Zealand is classed as casual, part time or contract.

“Research shows that there is a shift in how people are working in contemporary New Zealand with a lot more involved in non-standard work contracts and conditions. We’re seeing a significantly changing world of work as the economic and the labour market keeps adjusting to a modern global economy,” he says.

Hegarty says, “The WooHoo Income Insecurity Index is just baseline research, we aim to repeat this in future years so we can build a better picture and even more helpful comparison trend data around the Income Insecurity Index and how this may impact on employers and the New Zealand economy. Employee loyalty, pay demands, perks will all be significantly impacted as the trend continues.”

The WooHoo Income Insecurity Index is a way of putting meaning around changes in the workforce and will hopefully help shape future policy around income tax, employment legislation and labour conditions.

Undertaken by Research First the research was completed in September 2014 as a random telephone survey of 407 participants with a margin of error of +/-4.8%. More information is here.

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