23 November 2016 is National Go Home On Time Day, an initiative which encourages employers and employees to raise awareness of the importance of a healthy work-life balance.
“This year, Go Home On Time Day will focus on the need for Australian workers to be entitled to, and to feel safe in taking their holiday leave,” Director of The Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work, Jim Stanford said.
The Centre for Future Work, which is coordinating this year’s event, published a report which revealed growing number of Australian workers do not qualify for, or are not taking their entitled paid holiday leave.
A study of 891 workers showed:
- Almost one-third (32%) don’t have access to paid holiday leave.
- Over half of those with annual leave didn’t take their whole entitlement.
- That result would equate, across the whole labour market, to 48 million unused holiday days, worth $11.1 billion – annually.
“About half of those who responded cited work-related pressures as inhibiting their leave: including being too busy, having too much to do, being reluctant to ask, or worried it would affect their job security or promotion chances.
“We don’t want to see a nation of empty beaches, unblackened sausages and grandparents waiting too long between visits.
“We do want to see refreshed workers who have had the chance to spend some quality time with their families,” Stanford said.
The Unpaid Overtime Calculator app has been used by thousands of Australians, collecting data on excessive hours of work, this year including the provision and use of holiday leave.
In addition to the growing inaccessibility of paid holidays, the survey data also revealed that the average full-time worker in Australia loses 5.1 hours per week to unpaid overtime – or 264 hours per year. Workers donate $116 billion dollars’ worth of hours to their bosses, every year.