Work Life Balance

Share this page

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.


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.
27 February 2015
Ahead of the Modern Slavery Bill which is due to be debated today (Wednesday) in the House of Lords, the TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “This bill is an important piece of legislation in the fight against trafficking and forced labour.
25 February 2015
date: Wednesday 4 February 2015 embargo : 00.01hrs Friday 6 February 2015 Two in five new fathers won’t qualify for shared parental leave, says TUC Two in five (40 per cent) new fathers won’t qualify for new rights to shared parental leave, according to analysis published by the TUC today...
06 February 2015
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