Teachers work extreme unpaid hours

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Many teachers work extreme levels of unpaid overtime, according to the Trades Union Congress (TUC). Interpreting recent official statistics, the TUC claims that roughly 20 per cent of teachers put in an extra seventeen hours of free work a week.

Teachers, lawyers and health and social service managers are the most likely employees in the UK to do free overtime, with roughly half of all staff in these occupations regularly working some unpaid hours.

Unpaid overtime is most common in the public sector. In 2009, around one in four public sector staff worked unpaid overtime, compared to roughly one in six in the private sector. Public sector workers are also more likely to do “extreme” unpaid overtime, according to the TUC analysis.

Single women are more likely work more unpaid overtime than their male counterparts, married or cohabiting couples or lone parents, with over a quarter of women working an average of more than seven and a half hours of free work a week.

The growth in unpaid overtime over the last year has coincided with a rise in the number of under-employed people, those who say that they would like to work more hours than their current job allows. The TUC point to government figures showing that roughly half a million managers would be prepared to work fewer hours, even if this meant a pay cut, as further evidence of a mismatch between the hours people want to work and the reality of individuals’ working lives.

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