Almost Half Of Australian Employers Say Their Staff Work For More Than 40 Hours A Week

The traditional 9-to-5 work day has become increasingly rare among Australian organisations, with 48% of employers expecting staff to work more than 40 hours in an average week this financial year.

Recruiter Michael Page surveyed 1800 Australian businesses, of whom 3% said staff spent fewer than 37.5 hours at work a week and 49% said staff worked for 37.5-40 hours.

Australia’s National Employment Standards generally call for a maximum of 38 hours of work a week, although this may vary according to an employee’s role, pay, and industry patterns.

In Michael Page’s 2013/14 Salary And Employment Forecast, 32% of businesses said staff worked 41-45 hours a week, 13% said they worked 46-50 hours a week and 3% had staff working 51 hours or more.

The figures are roughly consistent with the ABS’ 2011 census data, which revealed that 57.4% of Australians worked up to 40 hours a week, 16.3% worked 41-48 hours a week and 26.3% worked 49 hours a week or more.

Michael Page reported that the Australian employment market was “weaker” due to tight economic conditions and lower confidence levels.

Only 18% of survey respondents said they would be hiring more staff this year than in 2012-13. 46% said hiring activity would remain “steady”, while 36% said hiring activity would be weaker this year.

The downturn was more pronounced in the engineering sector, where only 4% of firms forecast stronger hiring activity while 61% expected weaker or slightly weaker conditions.

Michael Page forecast reported that any pay rises would be roughly in line with inflation. Only 5% of businesses were prepared to increase salaries by more than 5% this year.

There’s more data, including salary tables, in Michael Page’s report.

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