UK workers gave their bosses an astonishing £31.5 billion of unpaid overtime last year. To break that down, more than five million people put in an average of 7.7 hours extra work a week in unpaid overtime in 2015. This would add up to £6,114 a year each if they were paid the average wage for those hours.
We all know that long hours are not good for us; they cause stress; they're bad for our health; they wreck relationships; they make caring for children or dependents more difficult; and tired, burnt-out staff are bad for business. That’s why the TUC’s Work Your Proper Hours Day (26 Feb 2016) is a day worth celebrating. A day when the average person who does unpaid overtime finishes the unpaid days they do every year, and starts earning for themselves.
We’re not saying Britain should turn into a nation of clock watchers. Few people mind putting in extra effort from time to time when it is needed, but it is too easy for extra time to be taken for granted and expected day in day out.
This is one day in the year to make the most of your own time. Take a proper lunchbreak, and leave work on time to enjoy your Friday evening. Catch up with a friend, go to the movies, take a stroll down the park or surprise your family by getting home early. Whatever you decide to do, enjoy yourself because we deserve it!
Work Your Proper Hours Day for 2016 is on 26 February, but your own pay day may come earlier or later, depending on the hours you work above your contracted hours. Use our online unpaid overtime calculator to find out when you can celebrate paying off your long hours debt.