Overtime increased in 31% of Australian organisations over the past year, with 57% of non-award staff unpaid for extra hours, according to the annual Hays Salary Guide.
Recruiting specialist Hays said merely 8% of the 3,400 surveyed managed to decrease overtime over the past 12 months, while 43% of the 1,600 professionals polled said they work up to 2.5 hours of overtime on average each week.
A further 29% of professionals said they work between 2.5 and five hours per week, 18% work six to 10 hours, and the remaining 10% work more than 11 hours of overtime on average every week.
It has also been found that 27% of those who are currently looking or planning to look for a new job in the next 12 months cite poor work-life balance as a motivating factor.
“Over the past year we’ve seen skill shortages intensify while business activity has increased,” said Nick Deligiannis, managing director of Hays in Australia and New Zealand. “This has led some employers to turn to their existing team to ensure expanding workloads are completed on time. But there is a cost, with rising overtime impacting the physical, mental, and financial health of employees, particularly if it becomes excessive.
“This ultimately leads to rising turnover. If an organisation then becomes known for lengthy overtime, it’ll also lead to heightened candidate attraction challenges. To counter this, employers could consider whether a new permanent team member is required to relieve the pressure on existing staff. Or perhaps a temporary candidate could be brought in to assist at times of peak workloads. It’s also important to offer genuine work-life balance initiatives so that employees can focus on their health and wellbeing after periods of lengthy overtime.”