Australians Are Working $71.2 Billion in Unpaid Hours

To be frank, we’re working really fucking hard in Australia compared to other parts of the globe. So much so that our insane work ethic is costing us billions in unpaid overtime.

Recent research conducted by recruitment specialists Randstad revealed that full-time employees are working on average 42.25 hours each week. This is 4.25 hours more than a standard 38-hour work week. Part-time workers on the other hand are clocking 25 hours per week, one hour above the average of 24.

All of this equates to a massive $71.2 billion worth of unpaid work hours. It doesn’t sound so bad until you attach a price tag to it, right?

“Many Australians are working considerably longer hours than required by their employment contract,” says CEO of Randstad Australia and New Zealand Frank Ribuot.

“On the surface, employers may see the additional hours staff are putting into their job as a positive indicator they are engaged and invested in producing the best work possible. But the reality is, the benefit of any increased output comes at the expense of workers’ personal time.”

And it’s something that Mr Ribuot says should never be enabled by employers on any level.

“Allowing and even encouraging staff to consistently work additional hours for ‘free’ during what should be leisure time, with no real acknowledgement of the extra time investment, will have a big impact on a company’s employer brand, particularly in regards to employee attraction and retention.”

According to the research, 34 per cent of Australian workers intending to change employers cite work-life balance issues as a factor in their decision, while 62 per cent say good work-life balance is the top reason for staying where they are.

49 per cent of respondents place good work-life balance somewhere in their top five considerations when evaluating a potential employer.

Ribuot suggests employers maintain a good channel of communication with their workers to ensure they have the work-life balance they need.

“What’s needed is an open, honest conversation between an employee and their manager, to find a solution that meets the needs of both parties.”