Brits work the equivalent of nine weeks’ unpaid overtime every year

Posted by
Harriet Hall

Did you arrive at work 15 minutes early this morning? Did you leave an hour late? Perhaps you ate your lunch ‘al desko’ to catch up on those mounting unread emails?

We all feel the pressure to do it. We’re told to arrive before and leave after our bosses, to always work ourselves to the bone if we want that promotion, but how far do we take it?

It all adds up.

According to new research by online financial product comparison site,, Brits are working an average of nine weeks’ worth of unpaid overtime – meaning we effectively work for free from the 14th September each year.

The research found that an abysmal 30% of people were paid for their overtime hours

Teachers were seen to suffer the most – working a whopping 54 days free every year, with 86.1% not getting paid for their overtime.

As always, women get the worse deal, putting in an average of 8.2 hours extra work per week at their jobs, compared with 6.4 for men.


The overtime gender divide

And, of course, if we factor in the gender pay gap, which means women effectively work for free from the 9th November every year, it means that – really – we are working, on average- for free from around the 27th July.

It doesn’t bear thinking about.

Londoners are suffering the most, working around 8.9 hours unpaid every week, compared with those in the North of England and the Midlands, working 8.1 hours extra.

“We all want to do a good job when we’re at work, but there’s a line that it seems many of us cross where we’re giving our employers more time than we’re actually getting paid for,” says Joe Gardiner from

You might not mind working those extra 20 minutes, but have created an Overtime Calculator that will probably change your mind. If you enter your annual salary in and the number of minutes each day you work after paid hours, it calculates how much money you’re losing every year.

Looks like it might be time to ask for a pay rise…

Calculate your overtime loss below: