Union says Public sector staff work £11bn worth of unpaid overtime a year

A study has revealed that public sector workers are putting in more than £11bn worth of unpaid overtime a year.

The GMB union said its research has demonstrated the dedication of nurses, midwives, librarians and other public sector employees as an analysis of official figures found that almost 25% of staff regularly worked an average of 8 hours unpaid overtime a week.

Furthermore, it went on to show that 5% of public sector employees work at least 15 extra unpaid hours a week.


The report showed that nurses, midwives, social workers and school support staff were among those most likely to work unpaid overtime as they feel a commitment to their patients or clients.

Rehana Azam, the GMB’s national secretary for public services, said: “Chancellor Philip Hammond says that public sector workers are ‘overpaid’, but these shocking new figures show just how out of touch he is".

Public sector workers are the backbone of our society, working above and beyond their contracted hours because they are committed to jobs they love.

“Yet the Government rewards their dedication with crippling real-terms pay cuts.

“Ministers think they can push staff indefinitely, but low pay, unmanageable workloads and stress are pushing many of our members to the limit.

“Unpaid hours mean that thousands are effectively earning below the minimum wage, especially in the care sector.

“The reality is that public services are held together by the devotion of overworked and underappreciated employees, who are effectively handing the Government £11bn worth of their labour for free.