Page last updated at 15:38 GMT, Friday, 27 February 2009

Finance workers doing unpaid work

Garage worker
Garage workers have increased their unpaid overtime, the TUC says

Finance and garage workers are among those putting in more unpaid overtime during the downturn, the TUC claims.

Last month, the TUC estimated 5.24 million people put in extra work worth £26.9bn in the UK in 2008.

Now it has studied how much this issue was continuing to affect different industries in different ways.

Those working in research and development increased unpaid overtime the most in 2008 compared with 2007, while insurance staff's work dipped.

Finance workers saw unpaid overtime rise by 1.5 percentage points from 2007 to 2008, and research and development staff by 2.4 percentage points, the TUC said.

Job fears?

People working in insurance and pensions saw unpaid work fall by 7.5 percentage points.

The TUC said that agricultural workers were doing 13 days more free work in late 2008 than at the same time in 2007, while those in tool hire business were doing seven more days, and in people working in garages were putting in five more days.

"The recession is bringing new pressure for people to work unpaid overtime," said TUC general secretary Brendan Barber.

"But not all unpaid overtime is useful work helping to overcome the recession. When people understandably fear for their jobs, employers still have a responsibility to organise work properly and ensure their workplaces don't get gripped by a long hours culture.

"It would be wrong to replace a 'last person to leave gets a better chance of promotion' attitude with a 'last person to leave is least likely to be made redundant' view."

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