The number of people working longer than 48 hours a week has soared since
1998, according to research.
The latest Living to Work survey of 1, 666 staff from the Chartered
Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), shows the proportion of those
who work more than 48 hours a week has increased from one in 10, to one in four
during the past five years.
The report compares the results with the corresponding 1998 survey, and
concludes that the impact of the Government’s campaign on work-life balance has
had little or no effect to date.
The only crumb of comfort for the Government lies in the fact that almost
one in four employees have cut back their hours in the past five years,
although the biggest single factor behind this reduction is parenthood.
The report also argues that working time is ill-suited to legislative
control, given that so little attention is paid to the working time
regulations, which provide an opt-out clause for staff working more than 48
The UK’s opt-out clause is currently under review by the European
Commission, which is set to publish its recommendations in November this year.
CIPD head of employee relations Mike Emmott, said: "There is little
support from the survey for arguments that the current option for employees to
opt out from the 48-hour week should be removed," he said.
The report also shows that the average working week for women has increased
by three-and-a-half hours to its current level of 33.9 hours. The average
working week for all staff stands at 39.6 hours, slightly up on figures for