Hays finds employee working longer hours and many unpaid.

Overtime up.

Analysis from Hays has suggested overtime has increased in 31 per cent of organisations over the past year, with 57 per cent of non-award staff unpaid for their extra hours. Of the more than 3,400 organisations surveyed as part of the annual Hays Salary Guide, just eight per cent managed to decrease overtime over the past 12 months.

Hays also spoke to more than 1,600 professionals across Australia, with 43 per cent saying they work up to 2.5 hours of overtime on average each week. A further 29 per cent work between 2.5 and 5 hours per week, while 18 per cent work 6 to 10 hours. The final 10 per cent work more than 11 hours of overtime on average every week.

Furthermore, 27 per cent 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,” says Nick Deligiannis, managing director of Hays in Australia & 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,” he continues. “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, Deligiannis argues 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.

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