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The majority of UK employers are working an additional 66 million hours of overtime each week, for which half are not getting compensated for, according to a new study.

In a survey of 2,000 UK-based employees, 70% say they are working an average of 8.73 hours’ overtime every week, but 43% won’t get paid for their extra work, revealed the report by OnePulse.

Half of employees feel stressed and tired at work, whilst only a quarter feel happy and valued in the workplace.

Employees who took part in the research claimed overtime includes working through their lunch break (71%) and after hours (79%). Over a third of UK-based employees say they are not able to take 100 percent of their annual leave entitlement, due to excessive workload (37%).

A large majority of those who took part (93%) said they would prefer to work longer days for four days a week (10.5 hours) and have a three-day weekend. They also say their weekend is spent recuperating from their busy working week, leaving little energy to do ‘out of work’ activities (66%).

How are employees being compensated for working overtime?

Nearly half (46%) don’t get compensated for their overtime, whilst only 28% get extra pay for their hard work. Even less workers receive time off in lieu (13%) and another 13% get flexible working hours in return for putting in the extra hours.

Nick Walter, OnePulse chief marketing officer said: “As both an employer and an employee, work/life balance is always an interesting debate. The real issue here is the taboo nature of working overtime today. Since the start of the UK financial crisis in 2008, there was a nervousness amongst employees, who were urged to up their game to keep their jobs – and this is the hangover – who is going to speak out?

“Simultaneously, the rise of ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) into the workplace and innovations in digital technology and improved access to high speed internet, ‘work’ is no longer only possible in the office – work is everywhere we turn.”