As at June 2018, we employed approximately 217,000 people globally, including around 210,000 in Australia, making the Wesfarmers Group Australia's largest private-sector employer. Of our people, approximately 64 per cent are employed on a permanent basis and 36 per cent are employed on a casual basis.
In addition to our employees, our divisions engage contractors in a range of roles. There are seasonal variations in employment numbers, with a peak throughout the Christmas/summer period in line with the broader retail industry.
In the 12 months to 30 June 2018, we employed 66,310 new people across the Group in a range of permanent, part-time and casual roles. Over the same period we have had a net decrease in our overall employee numbers of approximately 5,600 people. A decrease in numbers resulting from the divestment of the UK Homebase business was offset in part by increases in employees at Coles and Officeworks.
Our voluntary turnover rate for permanent employees across the Group was 15 per cent (2017:18 per cent).
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. 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 217,000 people are mostly located in Australia, with around 6,500 in New Zealand and 815 in other global communities.