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Australian Bureau Of Statistics

1.4 Million Australian Employees Work Shift Work

Victor P Taffa

1.4 Million Australian employees usually worked shift work in their main job, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). This accounted for 16% of all employees.

Of all male employees, 17% usually worked shift work, compared with 15% of all female employees. Of all employees who regularly worked shift work, 15% (or over 200,000) worked a regular night or evening shift.

A higher proportion of younger employees worked shift work than those in older age groups. 18% of 15 to 24 year old employees usually worked shift work, compared with 15% of those aged 45 to 59 and 13% of those aged 60 and over.

For male employees, the highest prevalence of shift work was in the mining industry, while for female employees it was the Health care and social assistance and Accommodation and food services industries.

Other findings include:

  • 38% of employees usually worked extra hours or overtime;
  • 39% of employees were able to work extra hours in order to take time off;
  • 25% of employees had earnings/income which varied from one pay period to the next;
  • 58% of employees did not have any say in their start and finish times;
  • 74% of employees could choose when their holidays were taken.
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