Did you know that Australians work over two billion hours of unpaid overtime every year? It seems that, in the country of the fair go, workers feel under increasing pressure to turn up early, and work back late, while some employers (perhaps many) are actively exploiting their staff.
The Australia Institute has calculated the unpaid overtime we work per year as a $72 billion gift to employers, with accompanying negative consequences for physical and mental health, relationships, and life priorities.
So this Wednesday has been declared national Go Home on Time Day to raise awareness. You can even obtain an official “leave pass” from the website www.gohomeontimeday.org.au so you can win back some of that elusive work/life balance. And it’s not only employees who need a reality check – it’s for employers too.
And as John Fear from The Australia Institute says, if we took all those unpaid hours and turned them into jobs, we’d have 1.1 million fewer unemployed.
Broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 21 November 2010.
Theologian, researcher, teacher, writer, foodie, husband, dad. Works at Moore Theological College.