Long hours culture to be given break
THERE are many occasions when people put that bit of extra effort in to get the job done. ‘Going the extra mile’ is an important aspect of a lot of jobs and there is plenty of evidence that workers in the North East and Cumbria are as inclined (if not slightly more) as anywhere else to do just that.
There comes a point, however, where the ‘extra’ mile needs to be completed each week, and then it becomes an extra two miles. This pattern has become a dangerous trend that has seen the number of employees working unpaid overtime increase by 103,000 in 2007, bringing the total to nearly five million, according to analysis by the TUC, with the North East showing an increase in the number of people working unpaid overtime of 3% on last year, with a total of 166,000 people working longer for free.
North East employees who work unpaid overtime would receive an extra £4,328 a year if they were paid for the extra hours they are putting in, or £83 a week.
Four out of ten single women in their 30s do unpaid overtime, compared to just over a quarter of men in their 30s, which makes them more likely to do unpaid overtime than any other group in the workforce.
A further analysis of the Government’s Labour Force Survey shows that while childless women are far more likely to do unpaid overtime than mothers, there is little difference between men with or without children.
A quarter of childless women of all ages do unpaid overtime compared to just 17% of women with children, while there is less than one per cent difference between men with (21.7%) and without (22.6%) children.
These statistics would indicate that women who want to get on at work feel that they need to put in longer hours than anyone else, but as soon as they have children their option to work longer is somewhat restricted, and evidence would show that promotion opportunities are also restricted.
The TUC has calculated that if everyone in the UK who works unpaid overtime did all their unpaid work at the start of the year, the first day they would get paid would be this Friday, 22 February.
That is why the TUC has declared this ‘Work Your Proper Hours Day’ and is calling on employers to say thank you to staff for putting in the extra hours and to ensure that they work their proper hours on this day, perhaps especially the single women.