Employers are being urged to adopt good practice and take steps to manage down unpaid overtime hours today – the 15th annual Work Your Proper Hours Day.
According to research by the Trades Union Congress, more than five million people put in an average of 7.5 hours a week in unpaid overtime during 2018.
On average, that’s equivalent of £6,532 worth of free overtime per person.
The TUC is reminding employers that overwork actually decreases productivity and can lead to stress-related issues among employees.
The date of Work Your Proper Hours Day is significant – it marks the fact that the average person doing unpaid overtime has effectively worked the year so far for free.
The TUC says that teachers and educational professionals work the most unpaid hours on average each week (12.1 hours), followed by chief executives (11.4 hours per week), legal professionals (10.2 hours), hospitality and catering managers (9.7 hours), functional managers such as financial, marketing, and personnel managers (9.2 hours) and retail, leisure financial institution and production managers (all 8.9 hours).
Employees in the South West are among the most likely to work over their hours – 19.9 percent of the working population are putting in unpaid overtime, compared to the national average of 18.2 percent.
However, they are clocking up fewer unpaid hours – seven a week, compared with the national average of 7.5.
Perhaps unsurprisingly the biggest over-workers can be found in London, where 24.4 percent of employees work more than their allotted hours.
And the TUC admits the trend is not all down to 'bad bosses' – employees could start redressing the balance by taking a proper lunch break and leaving work on time.