26th February 2016
UK workers missed out on over £6,000 a year by gifting their bosses £31.5 billion of unpaid overtime in 2015.
Figures from the TUC showed more than five million people put in an average of 7.7 hours extra work a week in unpaid overtime in 2015, equal to £6,114 a year each if they were paid proper wages.
The 12th annual Work Your Proper Hours Day is the day when the average person who does unpaid overtime would get paid if they worked all of their unpaid overtime at the start of the year.
To mark this day, the TUC has asked workers to take their lunch break and leave on time. It said that managers could lead by example and move away from an over-reliance on staff’s unpaid overtime.
Men worked more unpaid overtime than women last year, 1.1 billion hours compared to 0.9 billion, and one in five men work unpaid overtime, averaging 8.5 hours of unpaid overtime a week.
Despite the fact that many women work part-time they are still doing 7.1 hours of unpaid overtime each week on average.
Those aged 40-to-44 are most likely to do unpaid overtime, with one in four in this age group putting in more hours than their contract states, compared to 20% for all workers.
The most unpaid overtime is done by teachers, working on average 11.9 hours unpaid each week. This was followed by financial institution managers who put in an extra 11.2 hours.
Workers in London and the West Midlands are putting in the most free hours, averaging 8.2 hours a week, compared to the national average of 7.7 hours.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: ‘Too many workplaces tolerate a long-hours culture. That is why we are calling on employees to take a stand today on Work Your Proper Hours Day and take a full lunch break and go home on time.
‘We do not want to turn Britain into a nation of clock watchers. Few people mind putting in extra effort from time to time when it is needed, but it is too easy for extra time to be taken for granted and expected day in day out.’