Almost 3 Million Work Extra Hours Or Overtime

June 1 2007 - More than 37% of all employees worked extra hours or overtime in November 2006, virtually the same as in November 2003, compared to 33% in November 2000, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The survey, Working Time Arrangements, Australia showed that of all 8 million employees (the survey excluded owner managers of incorporated enterprises), 2.9 million worked extra hours or overtime. Of these:

  • 48% of employees usually worked unpaid extra hours only.
  • 43% of employees usually worked paid extra hours only.
  • 9% worked both.

1.4 million (17%) of employees usually did shift work. The proportion was slightly higher (21%) for workers aged 15-19, and those aged 20-24 years (20%). A slightly higher percentage of males do shift work (18%) than females (16%).

Other findings from the survey include:

  • 60% of employees 'did not have any say in their start and finish times'.
  • 38% of employees were able to work extra hours in order to take time off
  • 72% of employees could choose when holidays were taken
  • 23% of employees had earnings that varied from one pay period to the next.
  • 36% of workers had hours that varied weekly or they were usually required to be on call or standby.

The survey also looked into general working characteristics of all 8.6 million employees (including owner managers). 8.1 million had only one job, whereas just under half a million (493,900) had more than one job. Multiple job holders were five times as likely to work 7 days a week as the single job holders (4%).

Details are in the publication Working Arrangements, Australia, November 2006 (cat. no. 6342.0).