Go home on time tomorrow

by 24 Nov 2009

It is time for employers to repay employees the $72 billion in overtime they owe them by al lowing workers to go home at 5pm tomorrow, 25 November.

In response to findings that Australian workers are “donating” more than their annual leave entitlement back to their employers in the form of unpaid overtime, The Australian Institute has nominated 25 November as national “Go Home on Time” day.

A survey by the institute found that each year, Australians work more than two billion hours of unpaid overtime. Furthermore, international comparisons show that Australians work the longest hours in the developed world.

“Ultimately, managers and business owners have a responsibility to create an environment in which employees can work reasonable hours without risking their career, their health or their relationships,” said the report’s co-author, Josh Fear.

According to the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) job security fears have put pressure on people to work extra hours for nothing, while others have felt they have no choice because of increased workloads. ACTU secretary Jeff Lawrence said that the estimated two billion hours of unpaid overtime each year was astonishing and that workers should receive payment for any overtime they do.

“Employees are legally entitled to refuse to work overtime for nothing, but the reality is that many workers believe they will either lose their job or be overlooked for promotion if they don’t,” said Lawrence.


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