Friday, 26 February 2010

Brits: Your employer owes you over £5,000 for unpaid overtime

According to figures published by the TUC, if you're an average Brit putting in unpaid overtime you would only start being paid from today if you'd done all your unpaid work at the start of the year!

However, if you're one of those who clock up over 10 hours a week, you'll have to wait until April 26th before the money hits your bank account.

Last year more than five million workers did an average of seven hours 12 minutes of unpaid overtime every week, worth £27.4 billion, or £5,402 each, according to the TUC.

Press Association: Rise in workers' unpaid overtime

So how do we compare with our colleages across Europe? An exact comparison is difficult to make, as there are different rules and thresholds in place, but many countries have imposed maximum overtime limits and these are highlighted below. (Information derived from European Industrial Relations Observatory Online)

Maximum 5 hours per week

No maximum

Maximum 12 hours over 4 weeks

138 hours over a 4-month period

180 hours per year or set by collective agreement

Varies between sectoral agreements.

3 hours per day spread over 43 hours

200 hours per year

250 hours per year (or lower by agreement)

None, but there are overall statutory daily, weekly and quarterly working time limits

200 hours per year

4 hours per day, 150 hours per year

80 hours per year

None, but there are overall statutory weekly working time limits

None, but there are overall statutory weekly working time limits (from which individuals may 'opt out')

As TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber has stated: "Staff are understandably doing all they can to help their company recover from the recession - and bosses should thank them for going that extra mile, but working time still needs to be properly managed. A long hours culture is bad for workers' health and family life - whether the hours are paid or not."

OK. Confession time for HR Case Studies readers: how much unpaid overtime are you putting in?

1 comment:

  1. Wonder if those figures include the work you do at home, just to keep on top of things? Those times when you end up working on the laptop way after your partner has turned in and turned the light off?

    OK, will admit to times when the work gets taken home but doesn’t get done because something more interesting comes along!! But on the whole there are many hours done that my employer has no sight of.

    Am I crazy? Probably. Will I ever be rich? Definitely not. Does it make me feel more control at work? Yes indeed.