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Unpaid overtime totals £27.4 billion in 2009

In a reflection of how difficult a year 2009 was for the UK economy, it has been revealed that a massive £27.4 billion was worked in unpaid overtime by UK employees. This equates to a record £5,400 per worker in the UK and is the largest figure since these records began. While many people would expect to "do a little extra" to secure their jobs in these difficult economic times the amount of work put in with no return in payment is enormous.

The largest increases in unpaid overtime occurred in London, the north-west and the north-east although rather bizarrely the total of unpaid overtime fell in Wales. While over 5 million people in the UK are estimated to have put in unpaid overtime in 2009 an enormous 900,000 people are said to be working in excess of 10 hours a week unpaid. Even though many people may reluctantly agree to unpaid overtime in the short term the problem comes when we move out of the recession and there is a need to cut back on their extended hours.

Whether the figure of £27.4 billion is indeed correct is a matter for debate, because unpaid overtime has been and continues to be shrouded in secrecy within the UK workplace.

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