Home Australia Australians could soon get an extra week of annual leave under new proposal

Australians could soon get an extra week of annual leave under new proposal

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Business experts share support for a move to give Australian workers five weeks' leave to ease employee burnout (pictured, Australia Day celebrations)

Business experts are sharing their support for the move to give Australian workers five weeks’ leave to alleviate employee burnout.

The renewed push comes as unions come together to campaign for the National Employment Standards to be updated with provisions to give employees five weeks’ leave.

Launched by the powerful Shop, Distribution and Allied Employees Association (SDA), the campaign also calls for the casual charge to be increased to 27.5 per cent to offset the increase in paid leave permanent employees would receive under the changes.

To date, Big W and Apple employees have five weeks of leave through consolidated enterprise agreements through the SDA.

Libby Sandor, assistant professor of organizational behavior at Bond Business School, said the move would help both employees and employers reduce burnout while maintaining productivity.

Business experts share support for a move to give Australian workers five weeks’ leave to ease employee burnout (pictured, Australia Day celebrations)

‘We know that burnout and stress are reaching record levels among employees. “Seventy-four per cent of Australians are thinking about looking for a new job and stress and burnout are a big part of that,” he told 3AW.

“Many companies are struggling to attract and retain good workers and more and more hours of work do not make us more productive, but less productive.”

Workplace futurist Kim Sealing Smith also told Today that she favored a “use it or lose it” approach so that workers don’t accumulate furloughs that would impact businesses.

“I totally agree with the use it or lose it (way) … the Australian way is to build up all that vacation and then go on vacation because we’re so far away from everyone,” he said.

“But that puts a huge burden on businesses and doesn’t solve the problem of fatigue and burnout, which is really what we need to address.”

He likened the furlough increase as an “olive branch” for workers amid a cost-of-living crisis and wages that have failed to keep up with inflation.

Savvy Australians can get up to 59 days off in 2023 by using just 20 days of annual leave, booking work weeks around public holidays (pictured, woman in Santorini on holiday)

Savvy Australians can get up to 59 days off in 2023 by using just 20 days of annual leave, booking work weeks around public holidays (pictured, woman in Santorini on holiday)

‘The workers are not happy, there is exhaustion, there is exhaustion, there is the cost of living crisis. “Wages have failed to grow with inflation,” he stated.

“This is kind of an olive branch.”

However, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry head of policy and advocacy David Alexander warned against a “one-size-fits-all approach” and said he believed the current standard of four weeks’ leave “works quite well”.

“That would be very difficult for many, many companies because essentially this edict would eliminate labor for their workforce, potentially leaving them destitute and having to fill that void with other workers or simply producing less,” he said on Today.

“Either way, that’s a bad situation for those companies.”

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