UK employees did unpaid overtime worth £23bn in 2004, according to TUC analysis of official statistics published today.
On average each employee who did unpaid overtime would have earned £4,650 for their unpaid hours if paid at their normal hourly rate. If they had done all their unpaid overtime at the beginning of the year, they would have worked for free until Friday 25 February.
Londoners put in the longest hours with those doing unpaid overtime putting in an extra seven hours 54 minutes in a week. If paid for this they would have earned an extra £7,000 a year, the TUC claimed.
They were followed by employees in Wales at seven hours 42 minutes (worth £4,320) and those in the West Midlands at seven hours 36 minutes (worth £4,410).
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “Many long-hours workplaces are inefficient and unproductive. People are putting in long hours to make up for poor organisation and planning in the workplace.”
The TUC has called for a ‘Work Your Proper Hours Day’ on Friday 25 February. It is urging employees to only work their contracted hours to ‘remind their bosses how much they depend on the unpaid extra work and loyalty of their staff’.
For a full regional table of unpaid overtime in 2004 go to: www.tuc.org.uk/extras/unpaidovertime05.doc