Part-time work takes toll on Australian students

Teens working longer hours to make up for loss of Sunday and holiday pay

Australian high school students are working longer and later hours in part-time jobs, which takes a toll on their academic performance, according to a new report.

The report, commissioned by the New South Wales Teachers Federation, found that students who worked long hours were tired at school and failed to hand in their homework more often than students who worked less.

Many students, as much as 62 per cent of the hundreds of students interviewed for the report, sign Australian Workplace Agreements, which means they don't get paid extra for working on Sundays and public holidays like other workers.

To make up for the loss in extra income, many students work even longer hours, according to Randall Pearce, the report's author.

The study was prompted by teacher concern, according to federation president Maree O'Halloran.

With the advent of 24-hour, seven-day-a-week shops, students have been filling the odd hours at the expense of their schooling, she said.

However, employer groups have rejected the research, stating that most high school students work short hours under favourable conditions.

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