Whether you work in community, private or public healthcare, going home on time is important.
Doing unpaid work does very real harm. There are numerous research reports about the very negative impact of doing long hours without taking breaks and the stress of huge workloads. It can lead to mental health issues and real physical impacts including things like heart attacks and strokes.
Not only does unpaid work have a very real and negative impact on your health and well-being, it also means that you’re missing out on potentially important family and social events. It means that your favourite hobbies, activities and pastimes are put aside.
These sorts of outlets are vital to maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
The Union has a long history of reminding members about not doing unpaid work. However, we know the level of dedication and commitment members have to their work and ensuring their patients get the best possible care.
We also know members are working with extremely high workloads that remain persistently high.
Often these high workloads are the result of under-staffing and poor management, and in many instances a failure to fill vacancies, to backfill leave or to hire more staff. Even during the pandemic, the Union has had to stare down some health employers who think making changes during a pandemic, which have nothing to do with dealing with the pandemic, is appropriate; ignoring the extreme work conditions members are now dealing with.
The Union’s own No Pay? No Way! survey clearly demonstrates there is a lot of work to be done so members can enjoy a better work-life balance.
For people working from home, the pandemic has smashed work-life balance with more people reporting they’re working more unpaid hours than they would have before the pandemic struck.
Employees worked on average 6.13 hours of unpaid work each week in 2021, an eight-year high and a 30 per cent increase over the life of the pandemic, research by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work has found.
Given the very real and negative impacts of doing unpaid work, the Union strongly encourages members to make sure they go home on time. It’s a simple but powerful way of starting to have a healthier work-life balance.