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Work your proper hours - 21-02-2005
UK employees did unpaid extra hours worth 23 billion in 2004 according to the Trade Unions Congress (TUC).

On average each person who did unpaid overtime would have earned another 4,650 if they'd been paid at their normal hourly rate. Or to put another way, if they did all their unpaid overtime at the beginning of the year, they would have worked for free until Friday 25 February.

That means this year's 'Work Your Proper Hours Day' is set for 25 February. The TUC think that if just one day a year, employees choose to only work their contracted hours, it might help remind their bosses how much they depend on the unpaid extra work and commitment of their staff.

They don't want people to turn into a nation of clock-watchers, or stop people from putting in some extra time when there's a crisis or an unexpected rush. But too many workplaces have come to depend on very long hours as a routine way of working. They get taken for granted and staff have to do even more if there is an unexpected rush.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber has highlighted that it is often the workplaces with the longest working hours that are the most inefficient and unproductive, and that long working hours are often the consequence of poor organisation and planning.

Last year's Work Your Proper Hours Day was 27th February, so in the last twelve months the situation has improved by two days.

There are differences between regions, with people most likely to work their proper hours in Northern Ireland, but least likely in Wales.

Londoners have taken the lead in long hours this year, with an average of nearly eight extra hours a week - almost a full extra day a week, which would equate to 7,000 of missed pay.

Work your proper hours day forms part of the TUCs campaign to combat the UK's unproductive and unhealthy long hours habit, and getting a better work/life balance for more UK employees.

Use the Abeceder web link to access the Work your proper hours website.
Work your proper hours day 2005

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