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Overtime goes unpaid in UK

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The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has revealed that over a fifth of the UK workforce works unpaid overtime, which equates to £640 million-worth of extra hours. During a study to mark ‘Work Your Proper Hours Day’, the TUC found that the problem was at its worse in London where an estimated 900,000 regularly work over eight hours extra a week for free. The TUC has highlighted the fact that this additional work is being taken for granted by business leaders and is resulting in over-worked staff who are often unproductive and unhappy. 

Derek Irvine, vice president of client strategy and consulting at Globoforce, has made the following comments:“It is clear that the British workforce does not have a clock-in, clock-out mentality. While this can be a good thing for organisations in some respects, the fact that there is a lack of recognition for workers’ efforts is likely to cause problems in the long-run. Not only could staff become increasingly unproductive, if they do not feel as if their extra contribution is being valued they are also at risk of becoming de-motivated. This could negatively impact a company’s bottom-line. In addition, employees will likely seek out new employment opportunities where they would be recognised for their effort. “

“Businesses don’t necessarily have to provide their employees with additional financial compensation for extra hours. For many staff, it isn’t solely about the money but rather about being appreciated. In fact, the Globoforce UK Workforce Mood Tracker found that 77 percent of workers like to have their efforts at work recognised, and 73 percent say that recognition motivates them to do a better job, indicating that financial rewards aren’t always the answer. The survey also revealed that 29 percent of employees have left a company because they were not being recognised for the work they do, while 42 percent are looking for a new job due to a lack of recognition in their current role.”

“As a measure to ensure that employees feel recognised for their efforts, businesses should employ a social recognition programme. This peer-to-peer, bottom-up strategy allows employees to recognise one another for good work – including recognition for extra hours worked. Social recognition motivates employees to do a better job and naturally cultivates a positive working environment – removing the negative connotations of unpaid overtime and ensuring a happy and productive workforce.”

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