Employees are giving £28bn a year to their employers by working unpaid
overtime, according to TUC research.
The TUC study reveals that more than 5.5 million workers put in extra hours
last year, working an average of seven unpaid hours a week. This equates to
every employee providing more than £5,000-worth of free labour each year. And
it is women in professional jobs who are most likely to work for free.
John Monks, the TUC’s general secretary, said the value of unpaid overtime
increased by £5bn during 2001. He said this amount more than compensates
employers for the cost of increased employment legislation protecting workers’
"Employer organisations are always whingeing about the costs of ‘red
tape’, yet you never hear any gratitude for the vast amounts of unpaid
"When employers talk about the flexible labour markets, they really
mean stripping away terms and conditions," he said.