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Billions lost in unpaid overtime

Friday August 10th 2012

Britons are working an average of just over nine hours of overtime each week, missing out on thousands of pounds in the process, according to a new study.

The poll of 2,000 adults by Travelodge found that two out of five frequently work from home to cope with busy workloads, while a third put in extra hours over the weekend.

Brendan Barber, general secretary of Trades Union Congress, claimed these unpaid hours provide the economy with a multibillion-pound boost, but warned of health risks to employees.

"Bosses should thank staff for going that extra mile, but they must never be complacent about excessively long hours," he said.

"Burning people out undermines productivity, increases the likelihood of sickness absence and shows a lack of commitment to staff well-being that will not go unnoticed."

A combination of large workloads and job insecurity meant a third of respondents were opting against long holidays, instead choosing one-night breaks throughout the year.

Workers in London do more unpaid overtime than the average Briton, equating to more than 11 hours a week, compared with seven in Belfast.

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