Workaholic Brits are staying late and working through their lunch breaks to hand their bosses an average of 7.4 hours of unpaid labour each week.
That equates to £7,200 a year of unpaid wages for the average worker, totalling £26 billion across the UK, according to new analysis of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Labour Force Survey by the Trades Union Congress (TUC).
A staggering 3.5 million people put in extra hours of work without pay in 2022, with legal professionals, chief executives, project managers, vets and, of course, teachers, the most likely to be working late.
Just hours before the research was released, environment secretary Thérèse Coffey sparked backlash by saying anyone who is struggling with the cost of living crisis should simply work more.
She said “one of the best ways” for people to boost their incomes is “potentially to work some more hours, to get upskilled, to get a higher income”, in response to a question from Labour MP Rachael Maskell on what the government is doing to ensure food security after food banks in York began running out of supplies.
It won’t come as a surprise to the nurses, ambulance workers, teachers and civil servants currently involved in industrial action that overtime is more common in the public sector, with one in seven workers doing unpaid overtime, compared to one in nine in the private sector.