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“Go Home On Time Day” represents 1950s mentality

30 November, 2009

NSW’s largest business organisation, NSW Business Chamber, said attempts to regiment Australian workers back into a strict 9-5pm working day focused on hours worked rather than on the productivity they achieved.

Go home on time day seems to imply that Australian workers want to go back to the 1950s with bundy clocks and where workers were docked pay to pick up sick kids from school.  The modern Australian workplace has moved beyond the ‘count the seconds’ mentality of eras long gone,” said Stephen Cartwright, CEO of NSW Business Chamber

“I remember the bundy clock, and there was nothing idealistic or romantic about an era where minutes and seconds were counted by overzealous employers. 

“The modern workplace is a place of give and take where employees work longer in demanding periods and where employers also understand the needs of other priorities like school speech days or taking an elderly parent to the doctor.

“The modern Australian workplace is a partnership with give and take. This partnership has worked well for Australian workers - Australia has the 3rd highest minimum wages in the world and is ranked 15th in terms of GDP per capita in the world (source IMF).

“As the Australia Institute report indicates, a great deal of overtime occurs because people are actually enjoying their job and find satisfaction in the work they are undertaking.  The report also identifies what we all know, and that is there is a clear correlation between salaries and hours of work.

“I don’t think anyone wants to return to a world where we celebrate mediocrity and giving the least effort possible.

Cartwright said that employees had an intrinsic sense of understanding the value they created in the workplace.

“Employees won’t stay in a workplace that unfairly takes advantage of their willingness to work and get a job done.  We have greater workplace mobility than ever before – and employers who do not manage this fairly will experience high staff turnover and the costs that accompany turnover.

“I do believe we need a conversation about work life balance in Australia, but in having that conversation we must recognise that flexibility means both “give and take”  and that workplace flexibility has made a significant contribution to Australian productivity and wages growth over many years.

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