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Women workers in public sector drive increase in unpaid overtime

The number of staff doing unpaid overtime has gone up in the public sector over the last decade, but has held steady in the private sector, according to a new analysis of official figures by the TUC.

 The analysis is published ahead of Work Your Proper Hours Day on Friday (28th February) – the day when those who do unpaid overtime would start to get paid if they did all their unpaid work at the start of the year.

Unpaid overtime is more common in the public sector, with more than one in four public servants doing unpaid overtime compared to around one in six of workers in the private sector.

The increase in unpaid overtime across the the public sector over the last decade is almost entirely driven by more than a quarter of a million extra women doing hours for free.

In 2003 a smaller proportion of women (24.3%) in the public sector did unpaid overtime than men (25.8%). Women have now overtaken men with a big 3.9 percentage point increase in the numbers doing unpaid overtime to 28.2%. The proportion of men doing unpaid overtime has barely changed in the last decade (up 0.1 percentage points to 25.9%).

 

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