6344.3 - Working Hours of Wage and Salary Earners, Queensland, Oct 1999  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/06/2000   
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In October 1999 there were an estimated 1,256,200 Queensland wage and salary earners (or employees) who resided in private dwellings. There were 665,600 male employees who worked on average 41.5 hours per week, compared to the 30.9 hours per week worked by the 590,600 female employees. In total 384,800 employees (30.6%) usually work more than 40 hours per week. People with lower annual incomes work on average fewer hours than those with higher incomes.
When categorised by family relationship, husbands with dependants usually work the greatest number of hours on average, followed by husbands without dependants. Employees in the occupation category of 'Managers and Administrators' also reported working high average hours (48.1 hours per week). The industry in which employees reported working the highest number of hours per week was the mining industry, with an average 54.0 hours per week.


The main reason given by people for working their usual number of hours was that they were 'standard, award or contract hours'. However for those working less than 16 hours per week, 'study commitments' was also a common reason. The two reasons 'expectation of the job' and 'to get the job done' were given commonly by those who worked 49 hours or more, and by those who usually worked some unpaid hours.


Unpaid hours were usually worked by an estimated 242,200 (19.3%) employees. These employees worked on average 9.1 unpaid hours per week for males and 6.8 unpaid hours per week for females. Of those in the education industry, 46.7% usually worked some unpaid hours, on average 9.7 hours per week. When categorised by occupation, 50.6% of managers and administrators reported working unpaid hours, on average 11.2 hours per week, and 44.3% of professionals reported working an average 8.6 unpaid hours per week.
An estimated 18.5% of the 134,200 males and 9.5% of the 108,000 females who worked unpaid hours of work received an allowance for these hours in their salary package; a further 21.0% of males and 23.4% of females received time off in lieu.
Neither time off nor an allowance within their salary package was received by 149,200 (61.6%) of the wage and salary earners who usually work unpaid hours.


An average of 8.0 hours of paid overtime were included in the usual hours worked by 112,100 males, representing 16.8% of all male employees. Similarly an average 4.8 hours were worked by 36,300 (6.1%) females.

Approximately a quarter of persons in the occupation classifications of 'Intermediate Production and Transport workers' and 'Tradespersons and Related workers' usually work some paid overtime each week (25.3% and 23.8% respectively). The industries within which a high percentage of employees usually work overtime are 'Transport and Storage' (25.6%), 'Manufacturing' (24.1%) and 'Communication services' (23.4%).


A preference for working fewer hours each week was reported by 395,000 people (28.8% of women and 33.8% of men). Of those who usually work some unpaid hours, 62.2% would prefer to work fewer hours.

The most common reason given for preferring to work fewer hours was categorised as 'leisure/ more time for self/ lifestyle'. The main reason employees gave for not working fewer hours was 'no control over working hours'.