Overtime Survey 2017: UK is working for free from 25 October
Almost everyone thinks they deserve to get paid more and work less. And our annual investigation into unpaid overtime in Britain shows it could be worse than you think. We asked 2,000 workers about the hours they put in and found that unpaid overtime isn’t an occasional effort, but rather a regular part of working life.
Use our Overtime Calculator to see how much unpaid overtime you’re putting in and how much money you’re potentially losing out on. Are you getting paid what you deserve in the run up to Christmas?
Overtime worked per week
Are you paid for overtime
Overtime Survey Overview
Our survey uncovers the shocking truth about the overtime habits of British workers.
- On average British workers are putting in 8.4 hours of overtime each week. This adds up to 68 days of unpaid work each year.
- This is the equivalent of working for free from 25 October each year.
- Almost 65% of people surveyed aren’t being paid for overtime worked.
- The reason most often given for working overtime was having an excessive workload.
- Only one-third of British workers said they typically leave work on time.
- Four out of five workers also said they work through their lunch break each day.
- Almost 60% of people surveyed feel that they don’t have a good work/ life balance.
- Only 13% of people surveyed do overtime for the love of their job.
- Teachers work an average of 6.5 hours overtime each week, with eight out of ten not being paid.
- In the healthcare sector, workers are putting in an extra 7.7 hours of overtime each week, with 55% are not being paid for these hours. The most frequent reason given for working these overtime hours is feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work.
The Gender Overtime Gap
The research found that pay differences between the genders can be found in overtime pay as well.
- While 43% of men said they were paid for their overtime, only 30% of women are financially compensated for their extra working hours.
- Conversely, 24% of women feel pressured to work overtime in order to progress their career whereas only 11% men feel the same way.
- Women are more likely to carry out work related duties while on holiday. Only 13% of men said they worked while on holiday, as opposed to 24% of women.
Where in the UK are people doing the most overtime? Putting in an average of 9.6 hours a week, Londoners do the most overtime out of any region in the UK.
However, Londoners are often compensated for their extra hours. Unpaid overtime is at its highest in the East Midlands with 71% of workers undertaking unpaid overtime. The West Midlands ranks as the most likely place to be paid for overtime worked (47% of workers from this area said they are financially compensated for extra hours).
- 30% of those from Northern Ireland consider they have a good work/ life balance as opposed to 44% of those from Yorkshire and the Humber
- Just 11% of those surveyed from the West Midlands let their work get in the way of their diet, compared to 30% of those from Northern Ireland
- 43% of those from East Anglia feel tired and run down due to work compared to 16% from the West Midlands
Why People Work Overtime
Many reasons contribute to workers putting in the overtime, however only 18% of men and 30% of women said they worked overtime for the money. The biggest reason for both genders was down to excessive workloads.
The research also found that one in four londoners feels pressured to do overtime at work in order to move forward in their careers.
Overtime Worked by Industry
Although overtime is common across all industries there are some differences in the amount of overtime worked and the reasons behind it.
- Those in Publishing & Journalism work the most overtime per week (10.1 hours). 48% of those surveyed feel pressure from colleagues
- 44% of publishers and journalists have carried out work related duties on their holidays whilst 41% send work related emails or make calls outside of workhours
- Only one in three environment and agriculture workers are paid for the 10 hours overtime they work each week
- Only 32% of hospitality workers claim to have a good work/ life balance whilst they rack up 9.9 hours overtime each week
- Those who work in teaching and education are working an average of 6.5 hours overtime per week with only 20% being paid for their work
- Healthcare professionals are working an average of 7.7 hours overtime, 45% claim this is simply down to too much work