Is your workforce overdoing the overtime?

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New Zealand’s employers are being warned about the risks of overtime after a new study revealed it’s on the rise around the country – and employees aren’t overjoyed at the prospect.

Research from recruitment firm Hays found that overtime increased in 28 per cent of New Zealand organisations over the past year while just 5 per cent of companies managed to reduce extra hours.

Of those organisations where overtime increased, 37 per cent said the weekly increase was five hours or less, 22 per cent said the weekly increase was between five and 10 hours while 13 per cent said it was more than 10 hours per week.

“Business activity is increasing in New Zealand and it’s clear that many employees are expected to do more to help organisations cope with expanded workloads,” said Jason Walker, managing director of Hays in New Zealand.

However, Walker suggested some employers may be ignoring the potential risks that come with rising overtime.

Another recent poll by Hays found that 69 per cent of employees would look for another job if overtime became excessive, 55 per cent would do so if the overtime was unpaid and 14 per cent would do so even if they were paid for overtime.

“Employers need to seriously consider the financial, physical and emotional impact extra work has on their people,” said Walker. “Can overworked employees really perform at their best?”

He went on to suggest that employers consider temporary staff or transient teams in an effort to lighten the load.

“Organisations can instead bring a temporary or contract employee into their team for a set period of time to help when workloads become too much for their permanent team to complete reasonably in a standard business day or week,” he said.

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