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25 February 2011, 09:55
Workers in the North East are missing out on thousands of pounds in pay by working a record amount of unpaid overtime.
In our region, the average worker puts in seven extra hours of work, unpaid, a week potentially missing out on nearly £5,500 a year, worth around £29 billion to the UK economy.
Nationally, 5.26 million people worked unpaid overtime last year, clocking up an average of more than seven hours a week without pay.
One in five employees regularly put in extra hours for no extra pay last year, with public sector workers most likely to work unpaid overtime, said the TUC.
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: "With tough economic conditions making employers reluctant to recruit, existing staff are picking up much of the increasing work load through unpaid hours."
"While most staff are happy to put in some extra free time to help their company through, forcing staff to endlessly put in too many hours could lead to increased stress levels, which can make staff ill and reduce the quality of the work they do."