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Mar 2 2018 | Dan Jenkins

Study suggests unpaid overtime caused UK workers to lose £31 billion in 2017

A study carried out by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has suggested that UK workers lost £31.2 billion last year as a direct result of working unpaid overtime.

Calculating the unpaid overtime cost for UK workers

The TUC found that five million employees put in an average of 7.4 additional unpaid hours, and each lost out on an average of £6,265.

3.3 million employees in the UK regularly work more than 48 hours per week, the study revealed. Individuals who work longer hours are more likely to experience stress and depression, and be exposed to increased health risks, the TUC said.

Impact of unpaid overtime is more than financial

The report stated that over-reliance on unpaid overtime can also have a detrimental effect on employers: employees working long hours are prone to becoming tired, and subsequently making mistakes.

Whilst a ‘little bit of flexibility’ is fine, the TUC is urging workers to try to take proper lunch breaks and leave on time.

Commenting on the study, Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the TUC, said: ‘Lots of us are willing to put in a bit of extra time when it’s needed, but it’s a problem if it happens all the time.

‘Good bosses know that a long-hours culture doesn’t get good results, and the best way to lead is by example.’

Are you concerned about your staff working overtime?

If you have any concerns about your staff working overtime, HJS can support your business in a number of ways. We offer practical and cost-effective HR solutions to ensure your HR management is effective for creating a healthy environment and culture for your team.

We can also help you identify trends in your resourcing and possible solutions to reduce the volume of work being covered through overtime.

Contact us today or call 0808 1644 222. 

For more information about our services visit HJS Human Resources and HJS Outsource.