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Rising overtime: Are you paid for the hours you actually work?

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Almost three in ten (29%) organisations in New Zealand increased overtime and extra hours during the last 12 months, according to recruiting experts Hays. For 54% of non-award staff, this overtime was unpaid.

Based on findings in the 2016 Hays Salary Guide, of the 29% of organisations in New Zealand that increased overtime, 34% did so by five hours or less per week. A further 43% said overtime was up five to 10 hours per week, and 10% said overtime was up by more than 10 hours each week. Employers also reported increasing overtime at month end and year end.

65% of employers said overtime and extra hours worked remained the same year-on-year. Just 6% managed to decrease overtime.

"Business activity is increasing in New Zealand, and while employers are adding headcount they also clearly expect existing staff to do more," says Jason Walker, Managing Director of Hays in New Zealand.

"Add the three-quarters of employers who believe the skill shortage will impact the effective operation of their business or department in a minor (49%) or significant (25%) way, and it’s no wonder more employers are increasing not decreasing overtime in their organisation.

"But when 54% of non-award staff aren’t paid for their overtime, bosses need to seriously consider the financial, as well as physical and emotional, impact of the extra work on their employees. Can overworked employees really perform at their best?

"In many of the organisations that increased overtime, there could be a very good business case for adding addition headcount - either permanent or temporary - to get through peak periods and relieve pressure on existing staff," Jason said.

The Hays Salary Guide includes salary and recruiting trends for over 1,000 roles. It is based on a survey of 419 organisations in New Zealand, representing 245,716 employees, as well as placements made by Hays.

Get your copy of the 2016 Hays Salary Guide by visiting, contacting your local Hays office or downloading The Hays Salary Guide 2016 iPhone app from iTunes.

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