February 25, 2011 4.05 pm This story is over 152 months old

City workers clocking up unpaid overtime

Overtime: A reports warns unpaid overtime will increase in the public sector due to job losses expected in the coming months.

People working in Lincoln are among those working the most unpaid overtime in the country, according to a study released on Friday.

A record 5.26 million people worked unpaid overtime last year, clocking up an average of more than seven hours a week without pay.

People in the East Midlands are among those working the most overtime, the study from Trades Union Congress (TUC) shows.

The report said workers were missing out on almost £5,500 a year by working unpaid overtime, worth around £29 billion to the UK economy.

One in five employees regularly put in extra hours for no extra pay last year, with public sector workers most likely to work unpaid overtime.

TUC’s research found the number of workers doing unpaid overtime was the highest since records began in 1992.

Last year 5.26 million people clocking up an average of seven hours 12 minutes unpaid overtime every week.

Workers in London were most likely to work unpaid overtime at eight hours a week, followed by those in the East Midlands (7.5 hours) and North East and Scotland (both 7.4 hours).

The report warned unpaid overtime was likely to increase in the public sector because of heavy job losses expected in the coming months as a result of government spending cuts.

Tough economy, long hours

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: “With tough economic conditions making employers reluctant to recruit, existing staff are picking up much of the increasing work load through unpaid hours.

“While most staff are happy to put in some extra free time to help their company through, forcing staff to endlessly put in too many hours could lead to increased stress levels, which can make staff ill and reduce the quality of the work they do.

“Public sector workers – already experiencing a sharp cut in their earnings as they have their pay frozen and pension contributions raised – will be understandably upset about the amount of extra unpaid work they are expected to do with the threat of redundancy looming over them.

TUC dubbed Friday, February 25 as Work Your Proper Hours Day, the day when the average person who does unpaid overtime finishes the unpaid days they do every year, and starts earning for themselves.

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