Daily BulletinHoliday Centre

Daily Magazine

  • Written by Press Release
Australian Payroll Association CEO Tracy Angwin
Australian Payroll Association CEO Tracy Angwin

Are long working hours and work-related stress having a detrimental effect on your health? If so, you’re not the only one: new research has revealed that sick leave has increased across 1 in 3 organisations – and 72 per cent of organisations have reported that some employees have not taken annual leave since Christmas 2017.

In May this year, the World Health Organisation officially recognised burnout as a workplace phenomenon, and a result of chronic workplace stress[1].

The research was derived from a survey of more than 600 payroll managers by the Australian Payroll Association – Australia’s leading network in payroll training, consulting and advisory. It found that 35 per cent of the country’s big and small organisations have seen an increase in sick leave across their workforce.

Of concern, 71 per cent of payroll managers reported that there are employees in their organisation who have not taken annual leave for more than 18 months (outside of forced workplace closure periods). One in 4 (23 per cent) of payroll managers reported that this was up to 5 per cent of their organisation’s employees. Further, 72 per cent said their organisation had no system in place to ensure employees take their annual leave every year.

Increase in sick leave occurring mostly in larger organisations 

Larger organisations reported having the highest growth in sick leave. Thirty-six (36) per cent of large organisations (more than 500 employees) saw an increase in sick leave, compared with just 20 per cent of micro-businesses (less than 10 employees). This could be due to the lack of resources in small companies preventing employees from shifting their workload to another employee when they are away.

Large organisations also saw a higher proportion of employees failing to take annual leave. In 32 per cent of medium-sized and large organisations (200-5000 employees), up to 5 per cent of employees had not taken annual leave in the last 18 months (outside of forced closure periods). This compares with just 12 per cent of small businesses (up to 50 employees) who had up to 5 per cent of employees failing to take annual leave.

Employees in retail, IT/telco and education were the most affected

The industries with the largest proportion of organisations reporting sick leave increases are education and training industry (in which 47 per cent of payroll managers reported an increase in sick leave), IT, telecommunications, utilities and energy (44 per cent), and hospital, healthcare and disability services (40 per cent).

Australian Payroll Association CEO Tracy Angwin says: “Higher work demands and longer commute times could make anyone feel exhausted and overwhelmed. As an employee, if you are feeling burnt out you can ask your employer to consider flexible working arrangements. This can relate to the hours of work, days of work and even the location of your work. Employers know that keeping their employees happy promotes feelings of loyalty and ensures longevity in the workplace.

“When you are feeling overworked it is crucial that that you let you notify your employer so that they can look at how to re-distribute your workload. Another way to avoid workplace burnout is to keep track of your annual leave so once you accrue four weeks leave it can serve as a reminder to book a week or two off to re-set and recharge.”

Australian Payroll Association’s pay rate results, taken from 601 payroll managers

Q: Have you seen an increase in sick leave in your organisation? (Organisation size)




Total % of respondents

% with 1-10 employees

% with 11-50 employees

% 51-200 employees

% with 201-500


% with 501-1000 employees

% with 1001-5000 employees

% with 5001-10,000 employees




















Q: Have you seen an increase in sick leave in your organisation? (Organisation size)




% of respondents in the retail and e-commerce industry

% of respondents in the manufacturing industry

% of respondents in the scientific and technical industries

% of respondents in the healthcare industry

% of responders in the IT and telco industry

% of respondents in the building and construction industry

% of respondents in the financial and insurance services industry

% of respondents in the education and training industry




















About Australian Payroll Association

Australian Payroll Association is Australia’s leading network in payroll training, consulting and advisory for employers. It offers end-to-end payroll process reviews, compliance auditing, specialist recruitment services, payroll qualifications and training courses, and a membership program. Established in 2010, Australian Payroll Association offers the only nationally accredited payroll qualifications at Certificate IV and Diploma level through its registered training organisation, Australian Payroll Institute. It also holds annual events including its national conference and end of year seminars, in addition to releasing an annual Payroll Benchmarking Report. It also has a regular digital podcast series called ‘Talking Payroll’. For more information, visit austpayroll.com.au.

[1] World Health Organisation, ‘Burn-out an “occupational phenomenon”: International Classification of Diseases”’: https://www.who.int/mental_health/evidence/burn-out/en/


The Conversation


Scott Morrison on Credlin

PETA CREDLIN: Thank you for your time tonight, PM I know you've got a lot on your plate. I'll get to the issue of bushfires in just a moment, but I can't let it go unremarked that with Australia Day...

Peta Credlin - avatar Peta Credlin

Scott Morrison interview with Ray Hadley

RAY HADLEY: Prime Minister, good morning.    PRIME MINISTER: G’day Ray.    HADLEY: Jeez you copped a hammering while I was away.   PRIME MINISTER: Goes with the job mate.    HADLEY: Well, yo...

Ray Hadley - avatar Ray Hadley

Immediate small business support for bushfire affected communities

In response to the devastating bushfires, the Morrison Government has today announced a comprehensive suite of measures to immediately support impacted small businesses.    This initial package ...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Business News

How to Design a Website That Best Represents Your Business

A business website is the modern equivalent of a traditional brick and mortar storefront. Since the majority of businesses today need an online presence, it is essential to choose a design that best...

News Company - avatar News Company

Guide to Start E-Commerce Business

If you can read this, you have access to the internet, and since you have access to the internet, you must have thought about buying something from an e-store. Today, we live in a time very contrast...

News - avatar News

Tips To Buy Office Desks From Sydney

Desks are essential components to the makeup of any office. The right type of desk makes the workflow smoothly. The majority of the people look for desks that are comfortable to work on and need lit...

News Company - avatar News Company


A Travel Guide for Vacations Overseas

There are two types of tourists. Of course, that's a sweeping generalization, and we could be talking about any possible part of traveling.  In this case, we're discussing those who stick to the ma...

News Company - avatar News Company

The Family Travel Handbook from Lonely Planet

Everything you need to know to take unforgettable trips with your children   Full of practical advice, ideas and inspiration for every type of family, Lonely Planet's The Family Travel Handbook ...

Adam Bennett - avatar Adam Bennett

3 Ideas for a Family-Friendly Holiday to Bali

A family holiday is always an exciting time, but it can often come with its fair share of challenges, especially when trying to keep every member of the family happy. Thankfully, the beautiful islan...

News Company - avatar News Company