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190,000 workers in Wales put in a total of 80 million unpaid hours in 2019. The average person doing unpaid overtime has worked the year so far for free. Right to work reasonable hours must be protected in EU deal, says TUC.

Employers in Wales claimed £1.2bn worth of free labour last year because of workers’ doing unpaid overtime, according to new analysis of official statistics published today (Friday) by the TUC.

Nearly 200,000 people put in an average of 8.0 hours a week in unpaid overtime during 2019. On average, that’s equivalent to having £6,300 taken out of individual pay packets.

Today is the TUC’s 16th annual Work Your Proper Hours Day, marking the fact that the average person doing unpaid overtime has effectively worked this year so far for free.

As Britain begins trade negotiations with the EU, the TUC is calling for UK workers’ rights – including the Working Time Directive – to be protected in any deal.

Wales TUC General Secretary Shavanah Taj said:

“Too many bosses are getting away with stealing their workers’ time. 

But instead of strengthening protections, Boris Johnson’s ministers want to use Brexit as an excuse to chuck out the limited protections we already have.

“Overworking staff hurts productivity, leaves workers’ stressed and exhausted and eats into time that should be spent with family and friends.

That’s why any EU Trade deal needs to guarantee that employment rights, like those covered by the Working Time Directive, are protected in the future.”