Workers losing over £6,000 a year in unpaid overtime

27th February 2015


Workers miss out on over £6,000 a year by working unpaid overtime, contributing an additional £32 billion to the economy.


Figures published by trade union TUC shows one in five of the UK workforce regularly works extra hours for now pay.


This unpaid overtime is the equivalent to £6,050 a year and collectively British workers are adding £32 billion to the economy in unpaid work. More than five million people work an average of 7.7 unpaid hours a week.


The analysis marks the TUC’s 11th annual ‘work your proper hours day’, which is set at the time in the year when the average person who does unpaid overtime would start getting paid if they worked all their unpaid hours first at the start of the year.


The TUC said it wants workers to take a proper lunch break and leave on time, and encouraged managers to lead by example and think about moving away from a reliance on unpaid overtime done by their staff.


Unpaid overtime is down just slightly from last year, by 0.9%, and this is due to employment growth taking the pressure of hard-pressed staff in some workplaces, said the TUC.


Men make up 51.1% of those working unpaid overtime and work a total of 1.2 billion unpaid hours a year, compared to 0.9 billion for women.


This gap is put down to the disproportionate number of managers who are men – 66% – and the expectation for managers to do more unpaid overtime may exclude women from managerial jobs.


TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: ‘Staff across Britain are continuing to work among the longest hours in Europe and are not even paid for much of the extra time they put it.


‘Millions of workers go the extra mile every week, boosting the profits of companies across the country while they lose out on thousands of pounds from their pay packets. And this is on top of the fact that one in five jobs already pays under the living wage. Bosses who encourage long hours in the office should re-think their approach as stressed, over-worked staff are often unhappy and less productive.’


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