The Painful Picture of Unpaid Overtime in the UK

May 19, 2016
The Painful Picture of Unpaid Overtime in the UK

We’re living in a modern age of fast-paced progress, and more people than ever are putting in extra hours at work. But did you know that working too much overtime is bad for your health?

According to the long-running Whitehall II study, which has been tracking the health of more than 10,000 civil servants for over 30 years, those who plug an extra three hours or more on top of their regular seven-hour day seriously increase their risk of heart-related illness such as fatal heart attacks and angina by around 60%.

So if working overtime is so bad for us, why do we do it? For the money? Not always. A recent study suggests that on average, 20.3% of the UK’s workforce is putting in unpaid overtime. Some industries are far higher than this, with 38% of workers in the education industry working unpaid overtime averaging at 9.7 extra hours per week. Top offenders working unpaid overtime in the UK include:

– Education – 38% working unpaid overtime

– Professional, Scientific & Technical – 34% working unpaid overtime

– Information & Communication – 32% working unpaid overtime

– Mining & Quarrying – 25% working unpaid overtime

– Electricity & Gas – 24% working unpaid overtime


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