Work obsession affects tourism
THOUSANDS of Queensland workers are forgoing their annual leave and racking up unpaid overtime, but what effect is this having on them and the tourism industry?
Survey results recently released by The Australia Institute, an organisation that aims to raise awareness of the extent of overwork in Australia, found Australians work some of the longest hours in the developed world and each year employees donate $72 billion worth of unpaid overtime to employers.
The Australia Institute deputy director Josh Fear said overworking could have workplace, health and social consequences.
He said the research showed many workers who were given mobile phones and laptops by their employer feel obliged to work overtime.
"That working your proper hours is seen as radical by some is an indication that Australia's addiction to work has gone too far," Mr Fear said.
According to Tourism Australia, that addiction also extends to workers not taking their annual leave.
A recent Tourism Australia media release said Australian Bureau of Statistics figures, for the year ending September 2011, show Australians may be perceived as having a great work-life balance but workers have actually amassed 129 million days of annual leave, worth $40 billion in wages.
Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy said accruing so many holidays could be harmful to more then just the social life of the employee.
"When Australians stockpile their leave entitlements it not only affects their personal health and wellbeing but also our domestic tourism industry," Mr McEvoy said.
"Holidays are about replenishing the heart and soul and Australia is great place to take a break whether it's for three, five or fourteen days or more.
Mr McEvoy said the ABS figures showed a sharp increase in annual leave taken by full-time employees in the last three months, a trend he hoped would continue.
- Each year, Australians work more than 2 billion hours of unpaid overtime
- Only one-in-five Australian workers are working the hours they want to work
- One-in-two workers would prefer to work fewer hours even if that means a pay cut
- Time with family, physical exercise and healthy meals are common casualties of overwork
- Australian workers have amassed 129 million days of annual leave, worth $40 billion in wages
- Australians work some of the longest hours in the developed world
- Each year Australian workers donate $72 billion worth of unpaid overtime to employers