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Unpaid overtime seen as the norm for UK workers

Unpaid overtime is a normal part of office life for the majority of UK workers, a survey by Monster.co.uk has revealed. A huge 56% of us regularly work overtime and donít expect extra pay. A dismal 7% of people polled said that their managers encouraged them to leave on time, and only 12% said that working overtime was the exception rather than the rule

Unpaid overtime is a normal part of office life for the majority of UK workers, a survey by Monster.co.uk has revealed. A huge 56% of us regularly work overtime and don’t expect extra pay. A dismal 7% of people polled said that their managers encouraged them to leave on time, and only 12% said that working overtime was the exception rather than the rule.


Monster.co.uk recently asked 2,836 workers throughout the UK, “Is overtime considered the norm in your workplace?” The main findings are as follows:



  • 56% Yes, everyone does it and we don’t receive any extra pay/holiday

  • 25% Yes, but we get paid extra if we do it

  • 12% It is an exception rather than the rule

  •  7% No, our managers encourage us to leave on time


Pressures from the recession and fear of redundancy fuel some employees to work more overtime now than previously but there are opportunities to change work patterns. Monster recommends the following tips to help avoid a negative work-life balance:



  • If you are asked to do something you don’t have time for, explain why you can’t do it rather than simply say no

  • If you need to say no, try not to sound too over apologetic – explain concisely, without sounding as if you are trying to make excuses

  • Stand your ground. Don’t give people the impression that they can talk you round with persistence

  • Before saying no, think the request through so that the person who is being refused can see that you have seriously considered their request


For expert advice on all aspects of office life from setting up your work computer to arranging a sabbatical, please visit http://career-advice.monster.co.uk/in-the-workplace/careers.aspx