working at night

The UK's professional employees are working more than five weeks for free ever single year, meaning the average average salary is over £3,000 too low, according to CV-Library.

The survey found that those contracted to work 7.5 hours are actually working an average of 8 hours and 16 minutes every day. It means the average employee is working 26.5 days more than their contracted hours every single year, without being paid overtime.

The research also uncovers how the number of average hours worked varies across the UK, revealing the regions with the longest average working day…and where employees are most out of pocket:

1. Scotland: 8 hours and 44 minutes; meaning full-time employees in Scotland work 42 days, 5 hours and 38 minutes for free and are underpaid by £5,239

2. South West: 8 hours and 28 minutes; meaning full-time employees in the South West work 33 days, 3 hours and 45 minutes for free and are underpaid by £3,963

3. East Midlands: 8 hours and 22 minutes; meaning full-time employees in the East Midlands work 30 days for free and are underpaid by £3,557

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, said: “In the first quarter of the year we have seen wages rise year-on-year, but when compared with the previous quarter salaries actually declined by 0.9% – and with the introduction of the national living wage and concerns around the EU referendum, we expect wages to decline even further into Q2 2016.

"With many UK businesses facing low productivity as the nation struggles with skills shortages and economic uncertainty, it’s extremely concerning to see that full-time workers are forced to pick up the slack with no reward. The government needs to work with businesses to tackle the issues head-on; especially for regions like Scotland where workers are facing worryingly long work days.”

Brexit concerns

Mr Biggins also believes that a decision to leave the European Union would exacerbate the problem of working excessively long hours without pay.

CV-Library's research also found that 14.2% of full-time employees are working over 10 hours per day, far exceeding the 48 hour per week limit currently imposed by EU employment laws. And Mr Biggins claims that figure could rise if those rules are no longer in place following a Brexit.

He explained: “There are so many questions still unanswered regarding the EU referendum, and for UK workers many of these questions are surrounding the current EU employment laws. It’s clear that professionals in Britain are already working close to, if not more than, they legally should on a full-time contact, and a Brexit could worsen the situation – if we leave the EU and the security blanket of a maximum 48 hour week is removed then UK workers could face even longer working days. ”