find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Real Estate & Projects Lawyer (6+ years PAE)
Category: Property Law | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Top tier firm with offices nationally · High profile clients
View details
Firms, workloads make leaving work on time a near impossibility

Firms, workloads make leaving work on time a near impossibility

A story for students wanting a taste of working life in Australia -- with the legal profession among the most overworked in the country, a plan to encourage workers to "Go Home on Time" last…

A story for students wanting a taste of working life in Australia -- with the legal profession among the most overworked in the country, a plan to encourage workers to "Go Home on Time" last week saw almost half of the workers signed up to the initiative unable to leave the office on time, despite their best intentions.

Only 55 per cent of people who signed up to the "Go Home on Time Day" campaign actually left the office on time, with many respondents blaming their bosses for not letting them go home.

At the prompting of The Australia Institute, employees were encouraged to "Go Home on Time" on Wednesday, November 25, in an effort to make a dent in the reported $72 billion in overtime they're owed by their employers.

Of the 20,000 people who registered for a "leave pass" to get out of the office on time on 25 November, just in excess of half actually put it to use on the day, a follow up survey by The Australia Institute revealed.

Some people reported opposition to the idea of "Go Home on Time Day" from managers, with respondents saying that bosses intentionally loaded them with work because they knew what day it was - one saying that management laughed at the idea and another instructing employees to not even say the phrase "Go Home on Time Day" out loud.

Overall the most common reasons cited were having too much to do (68 per cent), colleagues were working late (11 per cent), forgot to go home on time (7 per cent) and the boss made them stay late (7 per cent).

Some of the other reasons why people didn't leave the office were: "a last minute job had to be done before I left the office; a late meeting was called and ran overtime; I had to wait for an important email from a foreign country; I got "in the zone"; "I had a presentation the next day and I have an unrealistic boss who expects 12 hours unpaid overtime per week."

The Australia Institute established the day in response to findings that Australian workers are "donating" more than their annual leave entitlement back to their employers in the form of unpaid overtime.

A survey by the institute found that each year Australians work more than two billion hours of unpaid overtime. Furthermore, international comparisons show that Australians work the longest hours in the developed world - and law firms, which don't have the best reputation when it comes to work/life balance, have certainly played their part in helping us achieve that dubious honour.

"Ultimately, managers and business owners have a responsibility to create an environment in which employees can work reasonable hours without risking their career, their health or their relationships," said the report's co-author, Josh Fear.

According to the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), job security fears have put pressure on people to work extra hours for nothing, while others have felt they have no choice because of increased workloads. ACTU secretary Jeff Lawrence said that the estimated two billion hours of unpaid overtime each year was astonishing and that workers should receive payment for any overtime they do.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Firms, workloads make leaving work on time a near impossibility
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Unite
07:04
Professionals unite in support of marriage equality
The presidents of representative bodies for solicitors, barristers and doctors in NSW have come toge...
Aug 21 2017
Is your firm on the right track for gig economy gains?
Promoted by Crowd & Co. The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, ev...
Scales of Justice, Victorian County Court, retiring judges
Aug 21 2017
Replacements named for retired Vic judges
Two new judicial officers have been appointed in the Victorian County Court, following the retire...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...