Overtime costs UK workers billions

Union urges workers to work their proper hours

Unpaid overtime is costing employees in the United Kingdom 23 billion pounds ($52.3 billion Can) a year, according to a national union.

Employees who worked unpaid overtime worked an average of seven hours and six minutes extra a week. These workers would have each taken home an additional $10,914 Can last year had they been paid the average wage for those hours.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has declared February 23 "Work Your Proper Hours Day" and is urging employees to take a proper lunch break and leave on time to make their bosses realize all the extra, unpaid work that employees are putting in.

"We work the longest hours in Europe, and too many workplaces are gripped by a long hours culture. There are some small signs that we are getting a bit better, but there is still a long way to go. That is why we say that employees should take a stand on Work Your Proper Hours Day and for just one day a year take a full lunch break and go home on time," said TUC general secretary Brendan Barber.

"We do not want to turn Britain into a nation of clock watchers, and few mind putting in extra effort from time to time when it is needed, but it is too easy for extra time to get taken for granted and then expected every week."

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