Today is Wednesday 23rd November, and that means it’s national Go Home On Time Day all across Australia. Sure, it’s one of those made-up holidays – it’s an initiative from think-tank The Australia Institute – but you should still take the opportunity to justify yourself leaving the office on time. Otherwise, you’re effectively having wages stolen from you as unpaid overtime.
The average full-time worker in Australia loses approximately 5.1 hours per week to unpaid overtime – 264 hours per year – on top of their regular 38 hour work week. With average Australian weekly earnings at around $1500, that’s around $200 of unpaid overtime, and an hour a day during the regular 5-day working week.
Unpaid overtime across Australia is worth an utterly massive $118 billion according to The Australia Institute, and it’s also part of a larger cultural issue around overwork. Half of Australians with holiday leave entitlements didn’t take their full allotment of leave in the last financial year, leaving on average around two weeks of paid leave to the crows.
The Go Home On Time Day website even gives you some tips on what you should do with that extra hour: “On this day, protect yourself against time theft: go home, exercise, cook a healthy meal, spend time with your family or your friends. And while you’re at, make sure you book your annual holiday leave: because summer is coming fast!”