Project 5: A weekend for every worker is a research project by the Australian Human Rights Institute at UNSW Sydney, funded by Roberts Co and Health Infrastructure NSW.
The project aims to measure how workplace wellbeing interventions, such as a compressed five-day working week with no weekend work, impacts the wellbeing of construction workers and their families.
A two-year research study by the Australian Human Rights Institute found a positive link between the five-day work week and improvements in construction workers’ wellbeing.
Project 5: A weekend for every worker examined whether changing construction workers’ schedules to include a full weekend would make a positive difference to their wellbeing in a sector characterised by long and unpredictable working hours, which have an impact on physical and mental health.
Why are we doing this research?
Every second day in Australia a construction worker takes their own life.
Mates in Construction tell us that a young construction worker is 10 times more likely to die by suicide than die from a workplace accident on a construction site. Yet, we have little understanding of how existing construction work practices impact the health and wellbeing of construction workers and their families.
This research aims to demonstrate what impact different work practices have on the wellbeing and mental health of the construction workforce. It will measure the effect of a five day work week on the wellbeing of construction workers. It will also test the economic viability of a five day work week by producing a cost benefit analysis of the project.
Who are we?
This project is being conducted by an interdisciplinary team of researchers from the UNSW Sydney, including:
- Dr Natalie Galea, Australian Human Rights Institute;
- Dr Anurag Sharma, School of Public Health and Community Medicine;
- Prof Rebecca Ivers, School of Public Health and Community Medicine;
- Dr Ioana Ramia, Centre for Social Impact; and
- Isabella Saunders, Centre for Social Impact.
- Trial of 5 day week for construction workers, ABC Radio Sydney, On Mornings with Cassie McCullagh, 18 May 2020.
- NSW pushes five-day week for construction workers in healthcare, Australian Financial Review, Michael Bleby, 2 May 2022.