WYPHD 2011: Do you work for free?

A record 5.26 million people worked unpaid overtime last year – the highest since records began in 1992. Today, on Work Your Proper Hours Day (WYPHD), the TUC's analysis of official figures shows that over one in five workers regularly worked unpaid overtime last year, the highest proportion since 1997.

WYPHD is marked this year on 25 February – it's the day when the average person who does unpaid overtime would start to get paid if they did all the unpaid work at the start of the year. The nearly two months free work highlight just how much many workers are putting into their organisations and companies, often picking up the slack from redundancies and recruitment freezes. Last year, those 5.26 million people across the UK clocked up an average seven hours 12 minutes unpaid overtime a week, worth £5,485 per person and a record £28.9 billion to the economy.

Public sector workers are the most likely to do unpaid overtime. Over one in four regularly put in more than seven hours of unpaid overtime a week, compared to around one in six workers in the private sector. Teachers and lawyers are the hardest hit professions though - putting in the most extra hours.

If you find you're often stuck in the office long after lights-out, or carting work home in the evenings, this is one day in the year to take a better look at your work life balance. Leave work on time for a change to enjoy your own time, and make sure to get a proper lunch break! Check out our Work Your Proper Hours Day pages for downloadable posters games, quizzes, downloadable posters and an online long hours advice clinic: at www.workyourproperhoursday.org.uk