IT workers in the UK are slowly starting to work less unpaid overtime than before.  Last month the Trade Union Congress (TUC) published figures showing that the average IT professional in the UK puts in six hours and six minutes of unpaid overtime; that’s a reduction of 36 minutes in the last 5 years according to the governments Labour Force Survey.  It’s also interesting to note that these six hours and six minutes per week would add up to around £5000 per year if charged for at an average hourly rate.

Brendan Barber, TUC general secretary said that these figures show Britain’s long hours culture is not getting any worse and is slowly getting better, particularly in the IT industry.

The TUC released these statistics to coincide with ‘Work your proper hour’s day’ on the Friday of last week.  With over five million people in the UK working regular unpaid overtime they are giving £23 billion of free work to employers each year.  The work you proper hours campaign encourages those who would normally work unpaid overtime to take their breaks and finish on-time.  Long hours are not good as they cause stress and put a strain on personal lives; all of which create tired, burnt-out staff which isn’t good for business.

What are your thoughts on unpaid overtime?  Should employers be able to expect it or are they taking advantage of people?  Do you personally work unpaid overtime in non-emergency situations?  If so then why?