Australians are working longer average weekly hours than their colleagues in other developed countries, according to new data from the OECD compiled by a Sydney academic.
Brigid van Wanrooy, at the University of Sydney, says there is a chronic culture of overworking among Australian full-time employees, which needs government intervention.
Australian employees’ average full-time weekly hours exceed 43. By comparison, British workers do just over 42 hours, US workers less than 42, Spanish workers less than 41, German workers less than 40, and full-time workers in the Netherlands work on average less than 38 hours a week.
The data is being used to call for a cap on working hours because long hours can damage safety standards and productivity. Van Wanrooy told The Australian Financial Review that 48 hours of work a week is the tipping point. Working 48 hours in a week is likely to result in fatigue, poor performance and risks to health and safety.