Blog

18 July 2016
Burning the candle at both ends?

A latest survey conducted by Reed has revealed that us Brits rack up £43bn in unpaid overtime every year. WOW! If you are one of these people who stay late or get in an hour early before anyone else does – then you are not alone. The survey revealed that one in five UK employees work eight or more hours of overtime every week (in other words, one whole extra day). And only 40% are paid for the additional hours put in. Is this fair?

Of the 1,500+ jobseekers surveyed by Reed, over two thirds admitted to working some form of overtime. On average, they work almost four hours of overtime each week – working out at around 192 extra hours every year, or 24 working days per person- that is close to the average employees holiday entitlement a year.

Are you a teacher or engineer? Then you are on top of the leader board along with those working in the sales industry – working an average of 6.2 hours overtime each week. This is followed by the IT, Marketing and retail industry.

Reed explained, “Those in the South East are the least likely to be paid for the extra hours clocked up, with 68% working unpaid hours.

They’re closely followed by workers in the South West (64%), with 61% of those living in the West Midlands also admitting to putting additional time in after working hours.”

It has been recently said that busy is the new happy for most people these days, but the effects on our health if regular breaks and time-outs aren’t taken will eventually take its tool with more and more people being signed off from work due to ‘stress’. 60% of people admitted to working through their lunch break as well as checking their emails out of the office whilst they’re at home. The majority of those surveyed said that their extra hours were due to workload demands (58%), followed by staff shortages being the second most cited reason (19%).

It is important to have a healthy work-life balance despite your job title. If you’re reading this and it sounds all too familiar, then take some time out. If you are not being paid, let alone thanked for your extra contributions to the job, then you have to ask yourself what is the point?

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