One tenth of IT professionals work unpaid overtime

One in 10 IT workers is not paid for working overtime, a survey has revealed.

Research conducted by online recruitment specialist found that, of 500 IT workers surveyed for a report on working hours, just 10% said they were paid extra money for it.

This is despite over a quarter (27%) of those surveyed claiming they worked between 48 and 60 hours a week, and 5% working between 60 and 75 hours.

Nearly half said their hours had increased in the past two years, with 42.5% citing an increase in the volume of work as the main reason for working longer hours. Yet 6.8% said the economic uncertainty made them feel the need to put in extra time.

But of those who complained, only a minority (15%) had taken up the issue with their managers.

Alex Farrell, managing director of the web-based recruiter, said: “Employers need to take some responsibility for the impact that overwork can have on their employees’ health. With our research showing that a significant amount of IT workers find it difficult to maintain relationships or suffer ill health, the UK’s culture of working long hours needs to be addressed.

“Despite the predicted downturn we are still suffering a skills crisis, so it is essential that we don’t disillusion our skilled workers at a time when we need them most.”

Other survey findings include:

  • 26.6% had opted out of the European Working Time Regulations, introduced in 1998 to address the long working hours culture by ensuring that employees do not work more than 48 hours per week. Nearly one third (32.8 percent) of people questioned did not know whether they had opted out or not.
  • 51% of IT workers have to take work home
  • 72.3% felt confident that their productivity in the office had not decreased since working longer hours
  • 40.6% felt their health had been affected by working longer hours
  • 25% cited relationship problems because of work overload – 52% said it meant they were unable to pursue hobbies and 43% stated they had no time for family or friends
  • 64% believed their social life had been compromised and 41% said it resulted in their having no social life at all

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