Unpaid Overtime Work Costs economy 1 Million Jobs

16th January 2012

The Trades Union Congress have reported that their surveys show British workers contributed over two billion hours of unpaid overtime work in 2011. This amount of labour would be enough to employ one million full-time workers in addition to those who already have jobs.

TUC's Labour Force Survey Summer Quarter 2011 showed that 5.3 million workers contributed an average of 7.2 unpaid overtime hours a week. The benefit to employers was calculated at £3,500 annually per worker. This is an increase of over a million workers doing unpaid overtime since TUC first started their survey in 1992.

Brendan Barber, TUC's general secretary, criticised employers for overworking their employees for no pay. He said this practice put workers' health at risk and resulted in less productive employees. He urged employers to instead begin hiring more workers, which would provide much-needed jobs. 'This attitude is not only bad for workers’ health, it’s bad for the economy too as it reduces productivity and holds back job creation,' he said.

Mr Barber has announced February 24, 2012, as Work Your Proper Hours Day. This represents the first day the average worker would get paid if he worked all his unpaid hours from the start of the year.

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