Unpaid overtime gives a £29bn boost to the UK economy

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date: 8 December 2011

embargo: For immediate release

Commenting on the latest figures on average hours worked across the economy, published today (Thursday) by the Office for National Statistics, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:

'These figures shine a light on the valuable but too often unrewarded extra hours that UK workers put in every week.

'Employers should do more to recognise the unpaid overtime that their staff do, which contributes £29bn to the UK economy every year.

'But while average hours are falling across the economy - both as a result of the recession and changes in working practices - UK workers are still doing the third longest shifts in Europe, with only Austrians and Greeks working longer.

'Smarter working practises and an end to pointless presenteeism would help make staff more productive and get a better work-life balance.'

NOTES TO EDITORS:

- The ONS release can be found at www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp29904_247224.pdf

- Further analysis of the figures will be available at www.touchstoneblog.org.uk

- The TUC estimates that a record 5.26 million people worked unpaid overtime last year, worth £28.9bn to the UK economy.

- The TUC's Work Your Proper Hours Day campaign calls on employers to recognise the work of staff doing unpaid overtime. More information is available at www.workyourproperhoursday.com

- The date for Work Your Proper Hours Day in 2012 will be announced in the new year.

- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk

Contacts:

Media enquiries:
Liz Chinchen T: 020 7467 1248 M: 07778 158175 E: media@tuc.org.uk
Rob Holdsworth T: 020 7467 1372 M: 07717 531150 E: rholdsworth@tuc.org.uk
Elly Gibson T: 020 7467 1337 M: 07900 910624 E: egibson@tuc.org.uk

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