Issue date
26 Feb 2016

Workers in Wales did more than £1 billion worth of unpaid overtime last year, according to a new analysis published by the Wales TUC today (Friday) to mark its annual Work Your Proper Hours Day.

The analysis of official figures shows that more than 185,000 workers in Wales did unpaid overtime in 2015 worth, on average £5,492 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.

Public sector workers across the UK contributed £10.8 billion of unpaid overtime last year. Public sector employees make up a quarter (25.7%) of total employees but produce a third (33.6%) of all unpaid overtime.

The most unpaid overtime is done by teachers and education professionals (with more than half of them working an average of 11.9 hours unpaid every week), followed by financial institution managers  (11.2 hours), production managers (10.3 hours), functional managers such as financial, marketing, personnel managers (10.1 hours), and managers in health and care services (9.9 hours).

People aged 40 to 44 are most likely to do unpaid overtime, with more than one in four (26.9%) in this age group putting in unpaid hours compared to an average of one in five (19.4%) for all UK workers.

Wales TUC National Officer for Health & Safety, Julie Cook said: “Too many workplaces in Wales tolerate a long-hours culture. That is why we are calling on employees to take a stand today on Work Your Proper Hours Day by taking a full lunch break and go home on time.

“We do not want to turn Britain into a nation of clock watchers. Few people mind putting in extra effort from time to time when it is needed, but it is too easy for extra time to be taken for granted and expected day in day out.

“I would urge anyone worried about a long-hours culture in their workplace to join their union, to make sure they are represented and their voices are heard.”

The TUC has designed a calculator at www.worksmart.org.uk/tools/overtime-calculator where employees can enter their actual hours each week alongside the hours they are contracted to do, plus their annual salary, to find out when their unpaid overtime comes to an end and when they start being paid for the job they are contracted to do.

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Nation/region

Number working unpaid overtime

% working unpaid overtime

Average weekly hours of unpaid overtime

Total value of unpaid overtime per week (£000s)

Total value of unpaid overtime per year (£m)

Annual value for worker who does unpaid overtime

North East

157,773

15.0%

6.8

14,987

779

£4,940

North West

470,193

16.1%

7.9

52,374

2,723

£5,792

Yorkshire and Humberside

388,550

18.0%

7.4

39,621

2,060

£5,303

East Midlands

366,179

18.6%

7.8

38,673

2,010

£5,492

West Midlands

370,285

16.5%

8.2

42,296

2,199

£5,940

Eastern

542,473

21.2%

7.7

61,068

3,175

£5,855

London

882,902

25.0%

8.2

147,185

7,653

£8,669

South East

858,203

38.3%

7.7

106,127

5,518

£6,430

South West

459,456

20.5%

7.4

47,736

2,482

£5,403

Wales

185,256

15.3%

7.9

19,567

1,017

£5,492

Scotland

402,932

17.4%

7.4

44,308

2,304

£5,718

Northern Ireland

58,000

8.3%

7.7

5,967

310

£5,349

UK

5,142,264

19.4%

7.7

605,810

31,502

£6,126

-All figures on working hours are taken from the Labour Force Survey (July-September 2015 quarter). Results include both full-time and part-time employees in their main job. Note that 40.8% of women and 11.9% of men work part-time (employees). Those working less than one hour of unpaid overtime a week are excluded. Earnings data from ASHE 2015.
- Follow the TUC on Twitter: @walestuc

Contacts:

Media enquiries:
Alex Bevan    M: 07795 844 728    E: [email protected]