The proportion of employees in their late 50s and early 60s working unpaid overtime has increased sharply in the last decade – despite a fall in unpaid hours for the rest of the workforce – according to a new TUC analysis published today (Friday) to mark Work Your Proper Hours Day.
If workers who regularly put in unpaid overtime worked all their hours from the start of the year, the first day they would get paid would be today (Friday 24 February). The TUC has named this Work Your Hour Proper Hours Day (WYPHD) in their honour.
Midlands TUC Regional Secretary Rob Johnston said: “Over the last decade, more people are working well into their 60s – and many of them are putting in extra unpaid hours too. Here in the east midlands we know that 106,000 workers over the age of 50 do unpaid overtime, that’s 29.6 percent of all those doing unpaid overtime. That is the highest rate in the country and well in excess of the national average of 26.1%.
“A lot of older workers are keen to reduce their hours as they approach retirement, but many of them have to top up their contracted hours with extra working time for free.
“Around one in five workers regularly do unpaid overtime but it’s becoming the norm in far too many workplaces. Whilst most people have no objection to putting in some extra hours to help their employer through a busy period, an entrenched long hours culture causes stress, health problems and lower morale.
“We’re asking employers to support Work Your Proper Hours Day today by encouraging staff to take a proper lunch break and leave work on time. Given that managers themselves tend to do a lot of unpaid hours, taking a few simple steps to address long hours problems will benefit everyone in the workplace.”
For the full press release and statistical tables go to: