Thursday, 19 November 2009

This passes for research...??

Why is The Australia Institute described as an 'independent' think tank when all it does is spew out far left garbage?

Its founder and former head, Clive Hamilton, retired from the organisation recently and is standing as the Greens candidate for Higgins in Melbourne. Methinks that the Greens are too far to the right for old Clive who has suggested democracy needs to be suspended in order to respond to the threat of climate change...

Here is the latest example of what passes for research at this esteemed institution:
Australians work more than two billion hours of unpaid overtime a year, a $72 billion gift to their employers, a new study by an independent think tank shows.

The Australian Institute research shows a typical full-time employee is working 70 minutes of unpaid overtime a day, which equates to 33 eight-hour days per year, or six-and-a-half standard working weeks.
Now, there is no greater example of the fact that The Australia Institute doesn't know anything about Australia's workplaces than this blatantly ridiculous figure. Anyone who has been an employer, and I used to pay the salary of over 30 people before selling my business and moving into the corporate world, knows that the 'typical full-time employee' turns up on time, takes a lunch break and leaves on time. In the public service (in which I worked part time during my university years) there was much more turning up late, taking a long lunch and leaving early than there was working long hours (typically by the most senior executive level).
Across the workforce, the 2.14 billion hours of unpaid overtime represented six per cent free labour for the economy depends.

"While Australians might have a reputation for taking 'sickies' and 'smokos', the evidence suggests otherwise," the institute's executive director Richard Denniss said when releasing the research on Wednesday.

During the past decade Australia had simply accepted the "dubious honour" of working the longest hours in the western world, when other developed countries had sought to reduce working hours.
Australia does not work the longest hours in the western world. The US does. How we could work longer hours than the US when we get 4 weeks of holiday and they get 2...?
"The amount of unpaid overtime worked in Australia is the equivalent of 1.16 million full-time jobs," Dr Denniss said.

"In an economy where unemployment is rising, overwork is an obvious area for government to address."
So how's that going to work? Businesses lay off staff in order to reduce costs and survive the downturn. By definition, the productivity of the remaining staff increases. If there are people working significant extra hours, and I'm sure there are but not even one-tenth of what TAI is claiming, then any government legislation in this area can only harm the recovery by imposing costs on business that they can't afford.
The survey found 45 per cent of workers, and more than half of all full-time employees, work more hours than they are paid for on a typical workday.
45 per cent? I call BS. How did they get their data?
The online survey of 1,000 respondents, commissioned by the institute, found that 44 per cent of people who work unpaid overtime said it is "compulsory" or "expected".

Slightly fewer (43 per cent) said overtime was "not expected" but also "not discouraged". 'online survey' remarkably scientific. I never saw it. How did they choose people to send it to?
Australians also work three times more hours or unpaid overtime than they volunteer to community organisations.
More BS, I reckon.
In response to its findings, the institute has nominated November 25 as national Go Home On Time Day.
"Ultimately, managers and business owners have a responsibility to create an environment in which employees can work reasonable hours without risking their career, their health or their relationships," co-author Josh Fear said.
Fear. What a terrific name for someone pushing such rubbish.
The institute is encouraging workers to postpone all last minute tasks and register for a "leave pass" at
I downloaded the research paper from their website to look at their methodology.

Under 'Survey of workers' they have:
The Australia Institute commissioned an online survey of 1000 people in July 2009. The survey sample, sourced from a reputable independent online panel provider, was
representative of the adult Australian population by age, gender and state/territory. Of the total sample, 626 respondents were in paid work. These people were asked questions about unpaid overtime and how it affects them.
The reputable independent online panel provider was Valued Opinions Panel, the Australian arm of Research Now. How can you survey 1000 people who are representative of the Australian population and come up with only 626 being in paid work? It's not credible.

There's also an issue they haven't addressed. What is the impact of people taking smoke breaks on having to work 'overtime' in order to get their jobs done.

Yet again The Australia Institute demonstrates that it's more interested in pushing its far left agenda than deal with truth.

(Nothing Follows)


Ellen K said...

That's okay, pretty soon when Obama's "change" had taken hold, many of us will be on what amounts to permanent vacation. Then Aussies can legitimately claim they work the longest.

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