27 August 2004
Overtime Report Signals Burden on Workers
A report that a growing number of companies have increased overtime levels has significant implications for employees trying to find a balance between work and life, Council of Trade Unions secretary Carol Beaumont said today.
A survey by recruitment company Hays has found that 52 per cent of New Zealand companies have increased overtime levels in the last 12 months.
“These figures signal that a significant number of New Zealanders are working longer hours,” Carol Beaumont said. “Union members have identified hours of work as being a major barrier to work-life balance.”
Many low-paid employees work as much overtime as they can to help make ends meet, she said.
“The increase in overtime is also a reflection of the labour and skills shortages that is affecting so many parts of the workplace.”
Work-life balance depended on fundamental aspects of decent work being in place – which included decent pay and reasonable working hours, Carol Beaumont said.
“Unions continue to bargain for improvements in collective employment agreements that increase work-life balance, and lobby the Government for law changes that will support workers having a better balance between work and life.”