Survey reveals consequences to health of unpaid overtime in UK construction sector

Managers in the construction sector are working 40 extra days a year unpaid, new data from the Chartered Management Institute has revealed.

The study showed that the average manager works 1 hour 18 minutes over contract each day, equivalent to around 40 days a year. This amounts to 184 million days each year for the UK’s management population.

It said only one in three managers work excess hours by choice, and half do so to meet deadlines and volume of work.

Nearly half of those in the construction sector (47%) think the culture of long hours affects their productivity, and 38% said it hits morale.

Of all managers asked, 63% said working over contracted hours limits exercise time and 47% said it prevents them from developing skills.

Analysis of the data, in association with healthcare business group Simplyhealth, showed that the average manager takes 3.5 days’ absence each year. So for every day lost to illness the average manager provides almost 11.5 days free of charge to their employer.

Jo Causon, director for marketing and corporate affairs at the Chartered Management Institute, said: “Many organisations focus on the cost of absence to their organisations, yet are not addressing the root causes of absenteeism.

“Surely, in today’s results-driven environment, output is more important than input, so two questions need to be answered: Why are employers ignoring the impact of long hours on the health and performance of their employees? And what responsibility are employees taking for how they manage themselves?”

The figures come from the report Quality of Working Life, issued in support of the TUC’s Work Your Proper Hours campaign.