Issue date
27 Feb 2015

27 February 2015

UK workers gave their bosses nearly £32bn worth of unpaid overtime last year – an average of £6,050 each if these hours had been paid – according to new analysis published today (Friday) by the TUC for Work Your Proper Hours Day.

The TUC analysis also finds that one in five (20.3 per cent) of the workforce regularly work extra hours for no pay.

The TUC’s 11th annual Work Your Proper Hours Day marks the point this year when the average person who does unpaid overtime would start getting paid if they worked all their unpaid hours first at the start of the year.

To mark the day, the TUC is calling on workers to take a proper lunch break and leave on time. Managers are also encouraged to lead by example, and to think about how they can move away from over-reliance on their staff’s unpaid overtime.

The study of official figures from 2014 shows that unpaid overtime was down only slightly from the previous year, by 0.9 per cent. The TUC believes this is partly due to employment growth taking some of the pressure off hard-pressed staff in some workplaces.

But with an army of more than five million people still working an average of 7.7 unpaid hours a week there is still a lot to do to get unpaid hours down to reasonable levels.

The TUC study also reveals that men make up 51.1 per cent of those working unpaid overtime and work a total of 1.2 billion unpaid overtime hours a year, compared to 0.9 billion for women. The TUC believes this difference results from the disproportionate number of managers who are men (66.4 per cent). Employer expectation that managers will do more unpaid overtime may contribute to excluding women from managerial jobs.

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

Education benefits from the most free work, with more than 1 million people doing unpaid overtime, followed by health and social work (770,000), the scientific and technical sector (500,000), manufacturing (490,000) and wholesale and retail (418,000).

The most free hours per overtime worker are in the education sector (9.7 per week), followed by the hospitality industry (9.3), mining and quarrying (9.2), the finance industry (8.7) and scientific and technical (8.4).

People in their 40s are most likely to do unpaid overtime, with 26 per cent in this age group putting in unpaid hours, compared to 20.3 per cent for all UK workers.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Staff across Britain are continuing to work among the longest hours in Europe and are not even paid for much of the extra time they put in.

“Millions of workers go the extra mile every week, boosting the profits of companies across the country while they lose out on thousands of pounds from their pay packets. And this is on top of the fact that one in five jobs already pays under the living wage.

“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 UK region in 2014

Region

Number working 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

Yorks &  Humber

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

* 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).

Unpaid overtime 2010-2014

Year

Number of employees working unpaid overtime (thousands)

Percentage of employees working unpaid overtime

Average hours of unpaid overtime per week

2010

5,255

21.0

7.2

2011

5,132

20.1

7.4

2012

5,087

20.2

7.6

2013

5,418

21.2

7.8

2014

5,287

20.3

7.7

Unpaid overtime by industry in 2014

Industry

Number working unpaid overtime

Per cent working unpaid overtime

Average weekly unpaid hours

Agriculture, forestry and fishing

15,151

10.3%

8.3

Mining and quarrying

28,706

25.4%

9.2

Manufacturing

491,208

17.9%

7.7

electricity, gas

41,348

24.3%

6.7

Water, sewage, waste

32,465

16.4%

8.0

Construction

229,207

18.0%

8.0

Wholesale, retail

418,928

11.7%

7.5

Transport, storage

117,327

9.4%

7.4

Accommodation, food

92,686

6.5%

9.3

Information and communication

311,267

31.9%

7.8

Finance and insurance

346,535

31.4%

8.7

Real estate

55,427

21.2%

6.5

Professional, scientific, technical

528,964

33.8%

8.4

Admin and support

149,864

13.0%

6.8

Public administration, defence

374,830

20.3%

6.0

Education

1.082,827

37.6%

9.7

Health Social work

770,760

20.6%

5.3

Arts, entertainment, recreation

87,026

15.5%

6.1

Other services

96,678

17.1%

7.4

Total

5,287,282

20.3%

7.7

Source: TUC analysis of unpublished figures from the ONS Labour Force Survey (Summer Quarters) and Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings

- 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