New research reveals most employees want the option to work on Australia Day

Three in four Australian workers want the option to work on Australia Day, although politics isn’t the main reason for the sentiment.

This is according to new research by global job site, Indeed, who surveyed a national representative sample of 1,000 Australian workers aged between 18-64 currently in employment, weighted by age, gender, and region to reflect the latest ABS Australian population estimates.

The survey found that 52% of the working population are already given the option to work Australia Day, with 3.7 million of these workers (approximately 30% of the Australian workforce) choosing not to take the day as a public holiday.

Although the day is a divisive one, the most popular reasons for working on the day aren’t political one. 89% of those who want the option to work on January 26, would do so to earn more money (89%) or to have the flexibility to elect a different day off (78%).

Just two-thirds of those choosing to work say they do not believe January 26 should be a day of celebration.

Australia Day isn’t the only public holiday under the pump. 68% of respondents say that workers should have the option to swap any public holiday for a different day off, with the King’s Birthday, Labour Day, Christmas Day, Easter Monday, and ANZAC Day among those holidays, workers would like the option of working those.

In Victoria, 40% workers would like the option to work on Melbourne Cup Day, while 35% would be happy to work through AFL Grand Final Friday.

“When a business is able to offer flexible leave, it can provide a number of benefits,” Indeed’s workplace expert, Lauren Anderson explains.

“It enables workers to observe days of personal or religious significance to them. Three out of five workers say they would be more likely to work for an employer who offers a flexible leave policy, therefore in a tight labour market flexible leave can be an attractive benefit.”



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