UK managers now working an extra day a week in overtime - but they're not getting paid

Nassos Stylianou
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More than one in 10 UK managers work 15 hours of overtime each week (Source: Getty)

Nearly half of UK managers report to working an extra day in unpaid overtime each week, as pressure from employers fuels Britain's long hours culture.

According to a survey from the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM), 47 per cent of bosses say that they work at least an additional day - 7.5 hours or more - of overtime each week.

More than one in ten, or 13 per cent of the 1000 ILM members polled, responded that they worked over 15 hours more than what their contracts stipulate.

In an indication of how overtime is firmly embedded into UK working culture, 76 per cent of those asked reported to routinely working late in the office or at home.

Unpaid overtime adds £29bn to the UK economy each year, according to figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

Managers gave a variety of reasons for working extra hours, with over six in ten saying they felt pressure from their organisation, while others admitted the pressure was self-inflicted. More than half, 53 per cent, said that workload is the main reason for working overtime.

“When you add up all the skipped lunch breaks, early morning conference calls and after hours emails you see just how widespread the extra hours culture is within UK business," said Charles Elvin, ILM chief executive.

The responses also pointed to the impact smartphone technology is having on under-pressure workers, with six in ten saying that they use their personal phone for work related matters and 86 per cent regularly checking their emails on evenings and weekend.

“Smartphones are a fantastic enabler of flexible working, but we see here that they can also lead to some rather unhealthy behaviours, such as the obsessive checking and sending of out-of-hours emails. We all know how stressful it can be to receive an urgent late night email when you feel compelled to respond immediately," said Elvin.

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