By Daniel Hunter

According to new research from Direct Line for Business (DL4B), seven in ten British tradespeople work extra unpaid hours each week, which equates to around £4.8 billion in unpaid overtime every year.

Just one in four (26%) 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).

Indeed the research also showed that more than one in ten (11%) of the UK’s 2.8 million tradesperson strong workforce, or 308,000 people, claim to complete over ten hours of unpaid work each week (or 520 hours a year).

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 ten years complete an average of 34.0 hours per week, while those who have been in the industry for more than a decade typically work 41.8 hours per week.

Tradespeople in the UK work on average 40 hours a week with nearly half (48%) completing over 40 hours a week. The current average for the UK’s overall workforce is 37 hours a week.

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

"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.

“Given these extra accumulated working hours, it is crucial that tradespeople have the right insurance cover for their business to ensure that all these extra hours worked are adequately compensated in the event of an accident.”

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