North West workers did £2bn of unpaid overtime in 2020, says TUC

North West employers received £2 billion worth of free labour last year because of workers doing unpaid overtime, according to new analysis by the TUC.

Friday, 26th February 2021, 12:30 pm
Updated Friday, 26th February 2021, 1:17 pm
Employers are saving money as workers put in more hours, says the TUC

Today (Friday) is the TUC’s 17th annual Work Your Proper Hours Day.

On this day, workers are encouraged to finish shifts on time. And managers are encouraged to support staff by setting reasonable workloads and with workplace policies that protect against burnout.

The TUC says that in the North West region, 10.5 per cent of employees did unpaid overtime, averaging 7.3 hours per week.

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That’s equivalent to £6,237 a year of wages going unpaid.

As in previous years, teachers are high on the list.

The challenges of keeping schools open for the children of key workers, while providing home learning too, has kept up their work intensity.

Managers and directors feature strongly, suggesting that the additional responsibilities of senior staff are not properly managed by employers.

The TUC is calling on the government to cancel the pay freeze affecting 2.7m public sector key workers.

TUC Regional Secretary Lynn Collins said: “Over the last year, many workers in the North West have put in huge amounts of unpaid overtime to keep the country going. And they have kept businesses and public services afloat.

“We should thank the key workers who put in extra hours without any extra pay. At the Budget, the chancellor should cancel the pay freeze and give every key worker a decent pay rise. It is what they have earned.

“And he should unlock the 600,000 public sector job vacancies and gaps that currently exist. That’s an easy way to cut unemployment, reduce burnout among key workers and get our public services back on their feet.”

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