Eighty per cent of Australian employees want more family friendly workplace laws and a cap on long working hours, according to one of Australia’s largest workforce surveys to be released today.

The ACTU’s National Survey of Workplace Issues, covering more than 8,000 employees nationwide, found high levels of workplace stress, insecurity, financial difficulty, understaffing, excessive workloads, and unpaid overtime.

“Most Australian employees say they are under increasing workplace pressure which is damaging their personal and family life, but two-thirds say they are still worse off financially,” ACTU President Sharan Burrow said before releasing the survey results.

“Employees want to be consulted and have a say in changes which affect them at work. Workers are outraged by high executive salaries and 80% support unfair dismissal laws. Employer groups and the Federal Government should listen to them.”

Ms Burrow said the survey confirmed widespread support for ACTU policies including two Test Cases in the Industrial Relations Commission this year seeking new family leave provisions and better redundancy rights, especially for casual workers.

Fifty-five percent of employees surveyed said the impact of work on their personal life had increased in the last few years, and 75% of these reported a negative impact on their families. More than half (53%) of employees who had taken parental leave did not receive any paid maternity leave; 66% of workers supported paid maternity leave.

Key findings of the survey include:

  • 82% said workplace laws should include more family friendly provisions
  • 80% wanted more say in workplace decisions
  • 80% supported unfair dismissal laws
  • 79% said there should be a limit on the number of hours worked in a
  • 78% reported understaffing and work overload.
  • 78% wanted additional leave to care for sick family members.
  • 69% experienced financial difficulty in the last year
  • 68% said employees should be able to return part time after parental
  • 66% were concerned about their job security and employee entitlements
  • 63% said they were worse off since the introduction of the GST in 2000
  • 54% worked weekly overtime but only 29% were paid overtime.
  • ACTU’s Survey Of Workplace Issues

    Fact sheet 1 – About the Survey

    Fact sheet 2 – Key Findings

    ACTU National Workplace Survey – pages 1-20

    ACTU National Workplace Survey – pages 21-40

    ACTU National Workplace Survey – pages 41-60

    ACTU National Workplace Survey – pages 61-80

    ACTU National Workplace Survey – pages 81-91