We employ approximately 223,000 people globally, including more than 203,000 in Australia, making Wesfarmers Australia's largest private-sector employer. Of our people, approximately 68 per cent are employed on a permanent basis and 32 per cent are employed on a casual basis.
In the 12 months to 30 June 2017, we employed 58,695 new people across the Group in a range of permanent, part-time and casual roles. Over the same period we have had a net increase in our overall employee numbers of approximately 4,600 people.
Our voluntary turnover rate across the Group was 18 per cent. Given the extensive retail focus of the Group there are seasonal variations in employment numbers, with a peak throughout the Christmas/summer period in line with the broader retail industry. In addition to our employees, our divisions engage contractors in a range of roles. Where headcount reductions are necessary, our divisions seek redeployment opportunities and where this is unsuccessful, they offer redundancy packages and outplacement services to affected employees. Our divisions offer end-of-career transition services where appropriate including outplacement services. We pay at least minimum wage in all locations in Australia as required by law and in no areas of operation does minimum wage vary by gender.
Our businesses are always keen to learn from their employees on issues important to them. Most divisions have already implemented a range of regular employee engagement initiatives, including always-open surveys, regular online surveys or externally designed 'employee pulse' surveys.