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Working hours in Australia

Working hours in Australia

Old Apr 18th 2010, 7:11 am
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Default Working hours in Australia

I've noticed that many people wanting to move to Australia are under the impression that Australians work less hours than most and have a good work/life balance.

I can only say to any prospective migrant that this just is not true.
Australians generally have to do at least 40-45 hours per week and more...
They also get very little in the way of annual leave , I think the only industrial nation that works more hours than this and less holidays is America.

By the time you get home in the evening all that sunshine has gone as even in summer it's dark by 8pm in Oz.

Just an observation , I'm sure lots of people will get mad at me telling the truth again
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Old Apr 18th 2010, 7:18 am
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Default Re: Working hours in Australia

You might add that tradesmen working on house builds generally start very early in the morning to beat the heat also.
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Old Apr 18th 2010, 7:23 am
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Default Re: Working hours in Australia

Yep, love Aus but in all the years here I've noticed more hrs worked overall at all levels as the work culture seems to be to work harder, not smarter

The upside though is that everyone takes weekend time more seriously than UK & come friday night, it's family time over the weekend
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Old Apr 18th 2010, 7:27 am
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Default Re: Working hours in Australia

I've just posted about this in another thread and agree with MDawson. I'm someone who needs to get a part-time job to work around the kids' needs and I am bewildered by jobs advertised as part-time, but they want you to work 30 hours a week! So few part-time jobs, and I'm not sure you're taken seriously if you do manage to land one. Last year I worked 3 days a week and found out that I wasn't being assigned work tasks that were interesting and suited my expertise, because "she's only part-time".

Even my working part-time was hard on the kids - before-/after-school and vacation care hours (and fees), loss of opportunities to play with friends after school, hard to get them to sports activities, etc.

If you can operate a small business here, and choose your own hours, and earn enough money to live on, and travel as much as you would in the UK, then you're talking quality of life.
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Old Apr 18th 2010, 7:29 am
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Default Re: Working hours in Australia

Originally Posted by sonlymewalter View Post
Yep, love Aus but in all the years here I've noticed more hrs worked overall at all levels as the work culture seems to be to work harder, not smarter

The upside though is that everyone takes weekend time more seriously than UK & come friday night, it's family time over the weekend
Not sure if this is relevant, we take family time very serously and have fun here in the UK.
It doesn't change working hours or when the sun goes down in summer.
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Old Apr 18th 2010, 7:34 am
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Default Re: Working hours in Australia

Originally Posted by MDawson View Post
Not sure if this is relevant, we take family time very serously and have fun here in the UK.
It doesn't change working hours or when the sun goes down in summer.
Agree mate, however weekend working in UK is expected whereas working longer days in Aus are expected - in my experience of course
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Old Apr 18th 2010, 7:42 am
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Default Re: Working hours in Australia

Originally Posted by sonlymewalter View Post
Agree mate, however weekend working in UK is expected whereas working longer days in Aus are expected - in my experience of course
I can only say that I have a different experience to you as I never work weekends here in the UK.

Some do and some don't.

Cheers
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Old Apr 18th 2010, 7:48 am
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Default Re: Working hours in Australia

I agree although by some fluke I got 20 hours as part-time which is perfect. In my company admin staff are required to work 40 hours as standard. Technical staff are 45 hours per week.

My husband is a tradie and is currently on 6.30 am starts although he does finish at 3.
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Old Apr 18th 2010, 7:56 am
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Default Re: Working hours in Australia

I do only the hours I am contracted for 22.5.

My OH doesn't have set hours but nor did he really in the UK. It is however long it takes him to do the job. In the UK and here we get disturbed at weekends, evenings, and on holiday. Only the other week we were in Noosa and he had a few conference calls and emails etc. Not sure what companies did before we were mobile!

Having said that the difference here is that in the summer months he tries to get away from the office at around 6 and then we either have supper by the pool or down on the beach with a bbq and a bottle or two. Fish and chips tastes so much better here - no batter and grilled with a few chips eaten during sunset on the beach. Magic
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Old Apr 18th 2010, 8:06 am
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Default Re: Working hours in Australia

Most full time jobs I have done in Australia have been 37 or 37.5 hours/week. One has been 40 hours. Extra hours has been expected occasionally when busy. Some people have more demanding jobs than this and some have less demanding.

Holidays are 4 weeks per year plus just over 2 more weeks in public holidays (11 days).

Re: "telling the truth"....I would be surprised if these hours and holidays put us at second bottom industrialised nations. Off the top of my head US, Canada and Japan are lower. I'm sure some other European countries would not be as good after public holidays taken into account: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...ave_by_country

The UK seemed a bit better because your holidays often increase if you work at the same place for years. Though I guess that doesn't happen as much these days.

On average, I don't think you would move to Australia for a more relaxed working life than the UK.

Last edited by fish.01; Apr 18th 2010 at 8:12 am.
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Old Apr 18th 2010, 8:10 am
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Default Re: Working hours in Australia

I find on one hand yes I work more hours here, on the other I get rewarded for it. In the UK full time staff jobs were all expected to put in overtime working for free, here it's generally paid for. Also you may get less official holidays, but there are more public holidays which more than make up for it, certainly in my industry of engineering in WA.
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Old Apr 18th 2010, 8:15 am
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Cool Re: Working hours in Australia

Originally Posted by MDawson View Post
They also get very little in the way of annual leave , I think the only industrial nation that works more hours than this and less holidays is America.

[...]

Just an observation , I'm sure lots of people will get mad at me telling the truth again
I don't see why anyone would get mad at you for saying something that is just ridiculously, blatantly wrong. You could have made an honest mistake.

I've attached a global study of annual paid leave. For our purposes, the relevant figures are:
  • UK: minimum statutory entitlement of 28 days per year (but this includes public holidays, of which the UK has 8 per year)

  • Australia: minimum statutory entitlement of 20 days per year (this does usually does not include public holidays)

  • USA: no mandatory entitlement; typical holiday entitlement is 15 days per year

The short version is that what you've said is simply not true. For the long version, see the attached file.
Attached Files
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Old Apr 18th 2010, 8:27 am
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Default Re: Working hours in Australia

Originally Posted by HelenTD View Post

If you can operate a small business here, and choose your own hours, and earn enough money to live on, and travel as much as you would in the UK, then you're talking quality of life.
This is definitely our experience operating the same business here as we had in the UK, but the rewards are considerably greater.
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Old Apr 18th 2010, 8:28 am
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Default Re: Working hours in Australia

Mercer seems to rank them differently though - and says that public holidays "may" be counted towards annual leave - it doesnt say that they ARE. http://www.mercer.com/summary.htm?idContent=1360620 With UK=2 and Aus=9 Mercer seems to indicate one ranks better than the other.

Also feeling just a little jaundiced here as my employer certainly expects out of hours work - I have done 14 hours this weekend following a 9 hour day on Friday. I will get some time off in lieu - if I can find the time to take off! When my DH was a public servant he worked 7 - 7 most days and usually at least one day at the weekend. In education my working week was usually 45 - 50 hours and no flex time. Thank heavens for retirement (well, semi!) but the expectation is always that you will do over your standard hours in order to get the job done.

Last edited by quoll; Apr 18th 2010 at 8:32 am.
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Old Apr 18th 2010, 8:36 am
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Default Re: Working hours in Australia

Originally Posted by quoll View Post
Mercer seems to rank them differently though - and says that public holidays "may" be counted towards annual leave - it doesnt say that they ARE. http://www.mercer.com/summary.htm?idContent=1360620 With UK=2 and Aus=9 Mercer seems to indicate one ranks better than the other.

Also feeling just a little jaundiced here as my employer certainly expects out of hours work - I have done 14 hours this weekend following a 9 hour day on Friday. I will get some time off in lieu - if I can find the time to take off! When my DH was a public servant he worked 7 - 7 most days and usually at least one day at the weekend. In education my working week was usually 45 - 50 hours and no flex time. Thank heavens for retirement (well, semi!) but the expectation is always that you will do over your standard hours in order to get the job done.
I think both Australia mandates 20 days holidays minimum. Pub hols about 11 days.

UK mandates 28 days minimum but only country in Europe where those holidays can include the 8 public holidays - so depends on employer.

I believe the question wasn't whether the UK was better than Australia (which I believe it is sometimes), rather whether Australia was the 2nd worst in the industrialised world.
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