Pandemic sees unpaid overtime skyrocket

Tiffanie Turnbull
(Australian Associated Press)


Feeling underpaid and overworked?

You probably are, new research suggests, with the average Australian employee found to have worked seven weeks of unpaid overtime during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Australia’s Institute’s annual Go Home on Time Day report found despite total work-hours falling and much of the workforce shifting to ‘work from home’, Australians are currently putting in an average 5.25 hours of unpaid work each week.

That equates to 273 hours per year, or over seven standard 38-hour work weeks per worker.

Economist report Dan Nahum, who authored the report which surveyed more than 1600 workers, said it suggested workplaces were adopting an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ approach to their duty of care to workers.

“For many the reality of working from home, is more like living at work,” he said.

“One-third of workers indicated that, post-COVID, they expect to work from home more.”

“But without adequate rules and protections this risks a further incursion of work into people’s personal time, poorer health and safety standards, and greater polarisation between those jobs that can be conducted from home and those that cannot.”


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