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Tradespeople are putting in extra hours for no pay

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: November 29, 2012

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SEVEN in 10 British tradespeople work extra unpaid hours each week – putting in an astonishing £4.8bn in unpaid overtime every year.

That's according to new research from Direct Line for Business.

Just one in four workers claim they don't work any unpaid overtime in a typical week.

On average, each tradesperson completes 5.29 hours of unpaid work a week, totalling 275 hours a year and equivalent to around £1,702 in wages, based on the minimum wage.

The research also showed that more than one in 10 of the UK's 2.8 million strong tradesperson workforce claim to complete over 10 hours of unpaid work each week.

Tradespeople who have been in the job the longest are more likely to work an extended, unpaid week. On average, tradespeople who have worked for up to 10 years complete an average of 34 hours per week, while those who have been in the industry for more than a decade typically work 41.8 hours per week.

Jazz Gakhal, head of Direct Line for Business, said: "Tradespeople are the unsung heroes leading the way in nursing our economy back to health.

"The research shows that, despite the sometimes negative publicity that surrounds the work ethic of tradespeople, they are doing more than their fair share and setting the right example for the rest of the UK's workforce. Next time a builder or plumber takes a tea break, be conscious that you are probably getting free hours spent working on your home improvements or repairs."

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