Hays warns excessive overtime will lead to Australian businesses losing their top talent

By Addie Thomes

Hays, one of the world’s largest recruitment organisations, has released new data which points to Australian companies losing employees due to burn out or lack of reward for overtime.

Overtime increased in 32% of organisations over the past year, with 63% of non-award staff unpaid for their extra hours, according to the research.

Of the 2,950 organisations surveyed, just 8% managed to reduce overtime over the past 12 months.

Of those organisations where overtime increased, 38% said the weekly increase was five hours or less. For 31% the weekly increase was between five and 10 hours, while for 11% it was more than 10 hours per week.


A separate website poll by Hays of 3,592 Australian workers found that 71% would look for another job if overtime became excessive; 57% would do so if the overtime was unpaid, while 14% would do so even if they were paid for overtime.

The final 29% said overtime is part of the modern workplace and even if it became excessive it would not prompt them to look for another job.

“Rising business activity and the shortage of certain skilled professionals is posing a challenge for some employers, many of whom are turning to their existing team to ensure expanding workloads are completed on time,” commented Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand.

“But employers should seriously consider the financial, physical and emotional impact that overtime – particularly when it becomes excessive – has on their employees. In many organisations there could be a good business case for adding addition headcount – either permanent or temporary – to get through peak periods and relieve pressure on existing staff.”


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