Australian Workers Feel Underpaid

by Angus Jones

The latest research from leading HR and Payroll solutions provider ADP reveals Australian workers feel underpaid, as the country experiences a widespread cost of living crisis.  

Alarmingly, over four in ten Australian respondents (42%) feel underpaid in their current job, with close to half of all respondents (47%) reporting working close to six hours or more of unpaid work each week.  

For respondents who have not received a pay rise in the last 12 months, eight in ten say they would be happy with other forms of compensation, including: 

  • One-off bonus (e.g. Holiday/merit bonus): 32%
  • One-off payment to help with cost of living: 31%
  • Additional days of annual leave/paid time off: 30%
  • Grocery/shopping vouchers: 30%
  • Shorter work weeks: 25%

Kylie Baullo, Managing Director ANZ at ADP, comments: “Right now, businesses are under more pressure than ever to balance workers’ expectations with their own challenges around rising costs.” 

“We know many employers are already actively working to offer employees more incentives and ensure their workers are appropriately compensated for their time. For employers who aren’t currently in a financial position to offer a pay rise this time around, it’s reassuring to see that workers are open to additional benefits such as increased flexibility, like additional leave time, and bonuses.”

According to the findings, male workers surveyed say they’re more likely to work six hours or more of unpaid work each week (51%), compared to less than half of female workers (44%). However, more female workers feel underpaid in their current role (46%) than male workers (37%). 

Interestingly, the report also reveals that nearly one in four (21%) workers would consider doing unpaid hours to help secure their job. 

“The rising cost of living, plus ongoing societal conversations around the gender pay gap continues to be on the minds of many employers who are actively trying to get it right,” says Baullo.

“No one should be paid differently if they’re doing the same job to the same standard, on the basis of gender alone. That’s why while some workers are open to taking on unpaid workload to secure or maintain a job, employers must continue ensuring that their employees’ time and contributions, regardless of gender or background, are valued appropriately.”

“Fair recognition and fair pay go hand in hand with job satisfaction, so it is key that businesses prioritise workers’ expectations to increase team morale,” adds Baullo.

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