Working hours

Work hours


Economic and other wellbeing in Australia – October 2022

This paper describes the trends, variation and determinants of wellbeing over the tumultuous period since COVID-19 first reached Australia and up until October 2022, with a particular focus on changes in economic wellbeing.

Work and life in a pandemic: an update on hours of work and unpaid overtime under COVID-19

This research reveals that almost three-quarters of Australians 'working from home' are doing at least some of it in non-work-time. The report calls for additional protections for people working from home, including limits on hours, overtime pay when relevant, allowances for extra home office expenses...

Australian Disability Employment Service outcomes in 2020: effects of COVID-19 restrictions

One important way Australians with disability are supported to find and retain a job is through a Disability Employment Service (DES). By tracking employment outcomes, month by month, through the pandemic, this report assesses how people with disability who use DESs were faring this year...

Australia’s 'jobs and growth’ strategy: pathway to a low productivity economy

This report outlines how Australia’s current economic growth is almost entirely attributable to increases in hours worked. The Coalition Government’s vaunted capacity as an economic manager has been reduced to dependence on extra work inputs, most of which are due to its high net overseas...

Excessive hours and unpaid overtime: 2019 update

This updated research looks at the cumulative costs of unpaid overtime in Australia's economy. Survey data suggests the average Australian worker puts in almost 5 hours per week of unpaid overtime: coming in early, staying late, working through lunch and breaks and taking work home.
Briefing paper

Conflicts between work and family and fathers’ mental health

Fathers today are often expected to fulfil the traditional role of 'breadwinner' while taking a more active role in child care. These competing demands can create work–family conflicts. Using data from the Growing Up in Australia longitudinal study, this research explored these conflicts and any...

It’s time to switch to a four-day working week, say these two Davos experts

Working less would have a range of benefits for workers and employers and the world should embrace the four-day working week, was the message two experts brought to Davos 2019.

Achieving a shorter working week in the UK

This briefing summarises the case for shortening people’s working hours without a loss in pay and puts forward an initial policy framework for getting there. It also marks the beginning of a new stream of work supporting those in trade unions, industry and government seeking...
Journal article

Implications of work time flexibility for health promoting behaviours

This article reviews evidence regarding the influence of flexible work time on health behaviour and outcomes as relevant to Australia and New Zealand.

Working time patterns for sustainable work

Working time is a recurrent topic of study because the nature of work, its content, the conditions under which it is performed and the labour market itself keep changing. This report provides an overview of the recent evolution of working time duration and organisation in...

Working time developments in the 21st century: work duration and its regulation in the EU

This report examines the main trends and milestones characterising the evolution of the most important aspects of collectively agreed working time in the European Union during the first decade of the 21st century. Drawing primarily on information collected by Eurofound across all EU Member States...
Discussion paper

The future of work: skills and resilience for a world of change

In this 2016 publication on the future of work, the European Commission defines the gig economy as an economy in which digital technologies enable teams to be assembled around a given project – and often across borders – while platforms seamlessly connect buyers with sellers...
Working paper

Measuring the success of employment law in addressing the problem of long working hours in Australia

This paper discusses how for some employees The National Employment Scheme will be the sole safety net and support, in terms of negotiating working hours and conditions with their employer.

Polluted time: Blurring the boundaries between work and life

Many workers who are given mobile phones and laptops by their employer feel obliged to work overtime, new research by The Australia Institute reveals. The research on the increasingly blurry boundary between work and life was conducted for national Go Home On Time day.

Australia at Work: In a changing world

The Australian labour market is experiencing a period of substantial change, within both the economic and industrial relations environments. This third annual Australia at Work report provides a first look at how these changes are impacting on working life.

The sources of time pressure: work, family and more

This article takes a look at who is experiencing time pressure, and also what reasons people give for that time pressure. Feelings of being rushed, stressed, harried or time pressured are prevalent across society, causing concern for how this experience of time impacts upon individuals'...

Working Lives: Statistics and stories

This is the second report of key research findings arising from the Australia at Work research project. This research is a large scale longitudinal study that tracks the experiences of working Australians over five years.

Work, life and time: the Australian work and life index 2007

The Work, Housing, Services and Community Project is a national study exploring how men, women and children think about issues related to work, home and community. In particular, it analyses how changes at work and in households are reconfiguring relationships between work, home, services and...

Working Time Arrangements, Australia, Nov 2006

In November 2006, there were 8.6 million employees aged 15 years and over. Of these, 92% (8 million) were employees. Of these 60% did not have any say in their start and finish times, 72% could choose when their holidays were taken, and 38% were...

Long work hours: volunteers and conscripts

Panel data from Australia are used to study the prevalence of work hours mismatch among long hours workers and, more importantly, how that mismatch persists and changes over time, and what factors are associated with these changes. Particular attention is paid to the roles played...

The persistence of long work hours

Robert Drago, David Black and Mark Wooden tested alternative hypotheses for the causes of long working hours, using data for an Australian sample of full-time employed workers. The results suggest that long hours (50 or more hours in a usual week) are often persistent, and...

Long work hours and the wellbeing of fathers and their families

The average hours worked by full-time employees in Australia have increased since the late 1970s. This, combined with increases in female labour force participation, has led to concerns about the impact of long work hours on family life. In this paper Ruth Weston, Matthew Gray...