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Workers in the North West did over £2.7bn worth of unpaid overtime last year, according to new analysis published by the TUC today (Friday) to mark its annual Work Your Proper Hours Day.

The TUC’s analysis of official figures shows that 482,000 workers in the region did unpaid overtime in 2014 worth, on average, £5,739 each.

Those working beyond their contracted hours did, on average, 7.9 hours of unpaid overtime a week.

Work Your Proper Hours Day is the day when the average person who does unpaid overtime would start to get paid if they did all their unpaid overtime at the start of the year. To mark it, the TUC is calling on staff to take a proper lunch break and leave work on time. Managers are also being encouraged to lead by example and encourage their staff to work their proper hours.

The TUC analysis shows how, across the UK, workers in education put in the longest unpaid hours (9.7 per week), followed by employees in the hospitality industry (9.3) and mining and quarrying (9.2).

Unpaid overtime is more common in the public sector (27.4 per cent of employees) than the private sector (18.5 per cent of employees). The public sector is benefiting from £11.6 billion worth of free hours a year.

People in their early 40s are the most likely to do unpaid overtime (26.6 per cent), followed by those in their late 40s (25.4 per cent) and late 30s (25.3 per cent).

North West TUC Regional Secretary Lynn Collins said: “Staff in the North West work among the longest hours in Europe – and are not even paid for much of the extra time they put in.

“Staff don’t mind doing a few additional hours during busy periods, but too many employers take this goodwill for granted and forget to thank their staff. Further problems arise when those occasional extra hours become the norm, and staff become over-worked and under-paid.

“Bosses who encourage long hours in the office should re-think their approach as stressed, over-worked staff are often unhappy and less productive.”

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Unpaid overtime by region in 2014

Region

Number  who do unpaid overtime

Average hours  per week

Average hourly pay rates

Total value  per week

Total value per year

Value per worker per year

North East

161,742

6.8

£13.58

£14,936,252

£776,685,084

£4,802

North West

482,022

7.9

£13.97

£53,198,543

£2,766,324,258

£5,739

Yorkshire and Humberside

398,325

7.4

£13.45

£39,648,657

£2,061,730,200

£5,176

East Midlands

375,391

7.8

£13.45

£39,379,,960

£2,047,757,905

£5,455

West Midlands

379,601

8.2

£13.71

£42,675,912

£2,219,147,446

£5,846

East of England

556,120

7.7

£14.33

£61,365,703

£3,191,016,560

£5,738

London

905,114

8.2

£20.45

£151,780,655

£7,892,594,080

£8,720

South East

879,876

7.7

£15.76

£106,769,568

£5,552,017,560

£6,310

South West

471,004

7.4

£13.81

£48,132,986

£2,502,915,256

£5,314

Wales

189,907

7.9

£13.22

£19,834,325

£1,031,384,917

£5,431

Scotland

413,069

7.3

£14.63

£44,111,003

£2,293,772,157

£5,553

Northern Ireland*

59,459

7.7

£13.07

£5,983,633

£311,148,947

£5,233

UK

5,287,282

7.7

£15.11

£615,154,925

£31,988,056,100

£6,050

Sources: ONS Labour Force Survey summer quarter 2014 and Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2014

* No earnings figures for Northern Ireland published in ASHE 2014. 2013 hourly earnings adjusted by UK per cent change for NI only (-0.1 per cent = -1p per hour)

- The TUC is organising Fair Pay Fortnight 2015 between Monday 16 February and Sunday 1 March. The Fortnight is part of the TUC’s Britain Needs a Pay Rise campaign and will feature a series of events across England and Wales to raise awareness about low pay, pay inequality and the need for higher pay settlements in the public and private sector. For more information please visit www.fairpayfortnight.org

- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk
- Follow the TUC on Twitter: @tucnews
 

Contacts:

Media enquiries:
Jay McKenna  T: 0151 482 2717 M: 07788 414578  E: jmckenna@tuc.org.uk