UK small businesses propped up by £1.6bn in unpaid employee overtime

Alys Key
Follow Alys
Battle Lines Drawn Over Supreme Court Nomination
Workers are doing eight hour unpaid graft every week (Source: Getty)

Employees of small businesses are working unpaid overtime worth £1.6bn a year, with young staff taking on the most extra work.

An average worker for one of the UK's 15.7 million SMEs does an eight hours of work every week, according to card payment firm Paymentsense.

Read more: What a year: London small business confidence has jumped

This comes as another study today revealed that many SME bosses take fewer than five days off a year.

For those aged between 18 and 24, the additional workload is even higher. Younger workers do an average of 11 extra unpaid hours week.

Nearly half (42 per cent) of those surveyed said they were feeling more stressed as a result of overtime, and 36 per cent said they rarely or never got credit from bosses for their extra effort.

Read more: Nearly a quarter of people would quit their job if their 'work spouse' left

Yanis Zisis, marketing manager at Paymentsense commented: “Our own research has shown that an early Friday finish, the chance to work flexible hours, and enough time off throughout the year is beneficial to both employees and business owners given its impact on productivity levels.”

Top reasons for staying late

The survey also found the top reasons employees siad they ended up sticking around in the office.

Last minute request from client or customer 39 per cent
Last minute request from boss 37 per cent
Meetings overrunning at the end of the day 34 per cent
Keeping up with admin 32 per cent
Attending meetings at client or customer locations 24 per cent
Equipment or computers playing up 21 per cent
Manager’s poor time management 20 per cent
Their own poor time management 19 per cent

Related articles