Almost half of all workers want to work fewer hours, and more than two million people would downshift by giving up pay for a better work-life balance, according to a TUC analysis of official figures in the run up to Work Your Proper Hours Day on Friday.
The analysis of the government’s Labour Force Survey, which interviews 60,000 households, found that people working in mining and quarrying are the unhappiest with their hours, and have the largest proportion who want fewer hours even if it means losing pay.
Hotels and restaurant staff are the least likely to want fewer hours or to give up pay for more time off. This reflects the large numbers of part-time and low-paid jobs in hospitality, the TUC said.
Education, financial services, manufacturing, transport and communication complete the list of sectors where more than half the workforce wants fewer hours.
Brendan Barber, TUC general secretary, said: “Most people enjoy their jobs most of the time, but nearly half would like to work fewer hours. Worryingly, more than two million are so desperate to downshift that they would give up pay in return for a better work-life balance.
“Too many workplaces are gripped by a long-hours culture, which staff and managers could easily work together to tackle.”
Work Your Proper Hours Day is the day that those who do unpaid overtime would start, on average, to earn money for themselves if they did all their unpaid work at the start of the year.