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TUC claims downturn is encouraging unpaid overtime

The TUC has this even stepped forward in defence of the UK employee with speculation rife that the UK workforce is being forced into unpaid overtime to retain their employment positions. The TUC estimates that 5.24 million people put in extra work during 2008 for which they should have received £26.9 billion in overtime payments but actually received nothing.

Unfortunately this is one of the downsides of an economic crisis such as the one we are experiencing now where UK employees are growing more and more concerned about their employment prospects which is forcing many to give some of their time for free. The problem is that as and when the UK economy picks up the fact that some workers have put into unpaid overtime could lead to greater expectations in the medium to longer term and put more pressure on salary increases. Aside from the fact that the UK workforce is being effectively shortchanged the UK government is also losing out on substantial tax income which is vital at the current stage of the economic cycle.

Even if the authorities were to remind employers of their legal statutory obligations there is very little chance of the UK workforce taking much notice as they look to curry favour with their employers and secure their positions on a long-term basis.

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