PRUNINIG THE TIME
Less work for more play –
SCIENTISTS, technicians, miners and food services staff are the most likely employees to be working less hours today than 10 years ago, new data shows.
Average working hours of less than 38 a week now applies to three-quarters of industries in South Australia.
Employees in only five industries, compared with seven in 2000, now are working 38 hours a week or more.
The biggest falls in working hours have been in professional, scientific and technical services, now working 34 hours a week, accommodation and food services, now 26 hours a week, and mining, now 41 hours a week.
They are working at least five hours aweek less than in 2000, with mining workers doing seven hours a week less.
Working hours increased for staff in rental, hiring and real estate services, from 35 to 36 hours aweek.
Information media and communications, rose from 36 to 37 hours a week, and wholesale trade, from 37 to 39 hours a week.
Workers in accommodation and food services, which has a high proportion of casual and part-time staff, work the shortest hours each week at an average of 26 hours.
Health care and social assistance, administrative and support services, and retail trade staff work less than 30 hours a week at 29, 34 and 28 hours respectively. Mining workers had the most average weekly hours at 41 hours a week, followed by wholesale trade.
Real Estate Industry of South Australia chief executive Greg Troughton says real estate professionals typically work more than the standard 38-hour week because of the need to meet clients when they are available.
‘‘There is no doubt that real estate professionals are often asked to work long and irregular hours to suit their clients, including meetings in the evening and on weekends,’’ Mr Troughton says.
‘‘This is particularly relevant in residential sales.’’
Its data shows only one-quarter of real estate staff work 40 hours a week or less. Mr Troughton says many employers were increasing the skills of their employees so they can work in other areas, which had increased the overall working hours of the real estate workforce.
‘‘It is not uncommon for administration staff to support the sales and property management team, and this gives employees more diversity in their day whilst keeping skill levels high in the office,’’ he says.
State Retailers Association chief executive John Brownsea says less hours for workers in the retail sector is a sign of the times.
He says many retail staff are working less hours because their employers are working more.
The economic downturn has caused many employers to cut back