Work Life Balance

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Workers in the UK currently work the longest hours in Europe, take the shortest lunch breaks and enjoy the fewest public holidays. Childcare is expensive and difficult to find, care for older people is of inconsistent quality and financial support during family-related leave is lower than in some other parts of Europe. The quest for higher productivity and the long hours' culture limit the effects of improved rights and can undermine equal opportunities policies.

The TUC estimates that if all the unpaid overtime worked by the average employee were put together at the start of the year, it would be until mid-February before they started to be paid. This is marked by Work Your Proper Hours Day which takes place on that date around mid-February.


From today (Monday) all employees who’ve been in their jobs for more than half a year have the right to ask their employers if they can work flexibly.
30 June 2014
Commenting on new figures published today (Wednesday) by the Office for National Statistics on the growth of home-working, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:
04 June 2014
The number of people who say they usually work from home increased by 62,000 over the course of last year to reach more than four million for the first time. The findings are from a new TUC analysis published today (Friday) to mark national work from home day, organised by...
16 May 2014
Employees across the UK worked a record amount of unpaid overtime last year, with over 5.4 million workers putting in around £640m worth of unpaid hours every week, according to figures published today (Friday) by the TUC to mark its annual Work Your Proper Hours Day.
28 February 2014
The number of staff doing unpaid overtime has gone up in the public sector over the last decade, but has held steady in the private sector, according to a new analysis of official figures published today (Sunday) by the TUC.
23 February 2014
Work Your Proper Hours Day (28 February 2014) is the day when the average person who does unpaid overtime finishes the unpaid days they do every year, and starts earning for themselves. We think that's a day worth celebrating. Last year, one in five employees across the UK regularly worked...
10 February 2014
If staff who regularly work unpaid overtime did all their extra hours from the start of the year they wouldn’t get paid until 28 February 2014.
10 February 2014
Nearly seven million grandparents provide regular childcare for their grandchildren aged under 16, with the most popular reason being to allow the child’s parents to work, according to a new poll released today (Tuesday) by the TUC.
17 December 2013
Commenting on plans announced today (Thursday) by the Deputy Prime Minister on the government’s response to the Modern Workplaces consultation, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:
29 November 2013
Men in their early 40s have the longest commutes in the UK, spending more than 67 minutes on average getting to and from work every day, according to a new TUC analysis of official figures published today (Friday) to coincide with the end of Commute Smart Week, organised by Work...
15 November 2013