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Cash-strapped Brits work longer hours and 'struggle to make ends meet'

Two in five Brits work more hours than they're contracted to – for free. Photo: Bethany Legg/Unsplash

Brits are struggling to keep afloat as they lose thousands of pounds to unpaid overtime, according to new research.

A survey of over 1,200 working Brits by job board CV-Library has revealed that despite 64% working more hours than they’re contracted to, over half (55%) struggle to make ends meet at the end of each month.

Over a third (36.7%) of Brits said they work up to three extra hours a week, amounting to 96 hours per year – meaning they are missing out on about £1,606.08 unpaid overtime, based on the average UK salary of £34,797 per annum.

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In addition to this, one in 10 work more than 15 hours extra per week, totalling a staggering £12,045.60 unpaid overtime.

All this unpaid work is making it hard for Brits to get by. The survey found two fifths (61.8%) of UK professionals go into their overdraft before the end of each month, while one in three (32%) struggle to pay their monthly credit card bill.

Aside from living costs, Brits’ top three expenditures are groceries (48%), insurance (25%) and eating out (25%).

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And although employees may be putting in these extra hours to impress their boss and secure a pay rise, employers seem to be failing to pick up on their efforts. One in four UK employees believe they are underpaid, while half suspect colleagues at a similar level earn more than them.

Recent research shows full-time employees in the UK work two and half weeks more than the EU average. However, Britain is suffering a productivity crisis, with growth in output per hour falling to a two-year low in April.

Lee Biggins, CEO of CV-Library, explained: Professionals are overworked and unmotivated. If you’re continuing to go the extra mile without your efforts being recognised, something’s gone wrong.