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Surge in older workers working unpaid overtime

The proportion of employees in their late 50s and early 60s working unpaid overtime has increased sharply in the last decade - despite a fall in unpaid hours for the rest of the workforce - according to a recent study.

 

The TUC analysis of official government figures shows that over the last decade the number of workers doing unpaid overtime has increased by just 96,000. Given the growing size of the working population, this means that the likelihood of doing unpaid overtime has fallen by 0.2%.

However, the study reveals sharp age disparities. The proportion of workers in their early 20s doing unpaid overtime has fallen by 36% in the last decade, while the likelihood of workers in their early 60s doing unpaid overtime has increased by 45%.

A quarter of a million more workers in their late 50s and early 60s did unpaid overtime in 2011 than in 2001. Fears about a loss of income after retirement mean that more people are working past their traditional retirement age. This is leading more older workers to do unpaid overtime, says the TUC.

Workers in their late 30s are still the most likely to work unpaid overtime, with over one in four employees in this age bracket regularly putting in extra hours for free.

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