One-quarter of shift workers across ANZ unable to cover living expenses with their current salary, Deputy finds

As the cost of living crisis continues to rise, shift workers across ANZ are feeling the pinch, with roughly one-quarter (22%) saying that they are unable to cover their living expenses on their current salary, according to a new survey by shift work management company, Deputy.

What were the findings of Deputy’s research?

According to Deputy’s new research report, another 53% of shift workers surveyed said that while they are able to cover their living expenses, they do not have any money leftover to put towards savings, while only 25% have money leftover after paying living expenses. 

The State of Shift Work Survey was commissioned by Deputy to explore the experiences and job satisfaction of shift workers across Australia and New Zealand. Deputy surveyed a total of 1,597 ANZ respondents, made up of both customers and non-customer responses. 

A fifth of shift workers believe they are not being paid fairly

Since mid-2021, inflation has been on the rise in both Australia and New Zealand. While 26% said their pay rate increased in line with inflation, 24% said they saw an increase, but it was not in line with inflation. Just 15% were able to see their salaries rise faster than inflation.

Additionally, the size of a business also plays a major role in wage increases shift workers receive in relation to inflation. For example, only 5% of those working in small companies (less than 100 employees) said their pay rate increased faster than inflation while 30% of those working in large companies (more than 1,000 employees) said the same.

A fifth of respondents in ANZ said they do not believe they are being paid fairly for their jobs (20%), and 44% want their employers to offer better pay. In fact, many are taking matters into their own hands, with 24% saying they are working more than one job, with more than one employer. Gen Z was the most likely to change jobs if they were offered more pay (70%), while 52% of millennials, 50% of Gen X and 39% of baby boomers said the same.

A quarter of Gen Z want to leave shift work for another industry

When asked what their future plans are for their job, Gen Z was significantly more likely to want to switch to a new industry. 26% of Gen Z was keen to switch to a new industry, while only 12% of millennials, 7% of Gen X and 8% of baby boomers said the same.

In fact, 44% of millennials, 59% of Gen X and 69% of baby boomers said they wanted to stay in their current position compared to 29% of Gen Z. To delve further into how they perceived shift work, respondents were asked what they liked and disliked about shift work.

Also, 40% of Gen Z respondents and 25% of millennials respondents selected difficulty in managing their fluctuating incomes as their biggest dislike. 33% of Gen Z selected unpredictable schedules which make it impossible to plan and 29% of Gen Z also selected health impacts like a poor sleep schedule, while 28% of millennials selected less job security.

Baby boomers had an overwhelmingly positive attitude, with 32% saying they did not dislike anything about shift work. 59% of Gen Z respondents, 53% of millennials and 50% of Gen X selected schedule flexibility as what they most liked about shift work, while another 50% of Gen X and 58% of baby boomers selected the ability to fit in other commitments.

ANZ shift workers required to work more shifts due to labour shortages

During the COVID-19 pandemic, migrant workers and international students returned home and many businesses still continue to feel the impacts of this exodus of labour with 45% of ANZ shift workers stating their employer had difficulty hiring in the last 12 months.

When asked how shift workers were impacted by their employer’s inability to hire, 41% say they’re required to work more shifts, 27% say they have new responsibilities and just 15% said they received a promotion. Another 15% of respondents said their pay had increased as a result but 18% expressed worry they are putting themselves at risk by working.

What are thoughts of Deputy on the survey?

“If there’s one thing this survey has uncovered, it is that shift workers are incredibly resilient, and many are putting in extra hours and overextending themselves in order to help their workplaces stay afloat amid rising costs,” commented Emma Seymour, CFO at Deputy.

Emma Seymour, Chief Financial Officer at Deputy
Emma Seymour, Chief Financial Officer at Deputy

“This is an opportunity for business owners to consider how they recognise the contribution of these employees, as the desire for feeling valued and recognised stood out as a top motivator for shift workers who love their workplace at 50% in ANZ,” Seymour added.

“The survey also found that 61% of respondents believe that their job will change significantly over the next two years due to new technology and the use of artificial intelligence. While this is likely an inevitable development of the industry, business leaders should consider how they can use this tech as a tool for improving productivity, rather than replacing shift workers, who make up the heart and soul of the businesses we interact with on a daily basis.”

For more information on the State of Shift Work Survey, please visit Deputy’s website