Australian businessman Tim Gurner urges layoffs to improve employee attitudes

One of Australia's wealthiest men has triggered a global backlash by suggesting that unemployment should double to humble arrogant employees.

Tim Gurner, a former gym owner and real estate magnate, stated, "We need to see pain in the economy." Previous statements of his have stated that young people's inability to buy housing is related to their excessive purchasing of avocado toast.

The video of him making such words has since gone viral, to the point where it has received over 23 million views and severe criticism on the internet.

The 41-year-old man remarked this week at a property summit that the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the mindsets and work ethics of employees, providing constructors as an example of this change.

He argued that this change is having an effect on productivity in the business, which, in combination with more stringent rules, is adding to the housing crisis in Australia.

To combat what he called "arrogance in the employment market," he advocated for a 40–50% increase in the rate of unemployment that is now in place. This would result in the loss of work for more than 200 thousand people.

According to Mr. Gurner, there has been a systematic shift in which employees believe their employer is incredibly privileged to have them.

He mentioned that they  need to remind people that they work for their employer and not the other way around.

His remarks come at a time when many companies are in dispute with their employees over problems such as flexible work and compensation.

Changing attitudes toward employment are also a topic of widespread discussion on social media, giving rise to hashtags such as "quiet quitting," which refers to the decision to stop going above and beyond for supervisors, and "lazy-girl jobs," which refers to well-paying, flexible positions that provide a better work-life balance.

Mr. Gurner's remarks have drawn criticism on social media platforms. 

Australian politicians of all political hues have also condemned them.

Jerome Laxale, a member of the Labor Party, described them as "comments you'd expect from a cartoon supervillain," while Keith Wolahan, a member of the Liberal Party, said they could not be more out of touch.

According to Mr. Wolahan's statements, the quantification of employment loss is challenging.

As this leads to people experiencing homelessness and depending on food banks.  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a US lawmaker, also criticised the property magnate.

He also noted that this is a Reminder that the pay of major CEOs has escalated to such an extent that the ratio of CEO-to-worker pay has reached some of its highest levels ever. Others, such as Andrew Michelmore, the chairperson of the Minerals Council of Australia, have also stood by him.

Mr. Michelmore told the sources that employees have become accustomed to earning the same amount of money but not working the same number of hours.

Gurner is the CEO and proprietor of Gurner Group, and his estimated net worth is A$929 million (£479 million; $598 million).

He has previously discussed how loans from his grandfather and former employer helped him launch his business.