Number of staff working longer hours up ten per cent in five years, says TUC

Beth Farhat, regional secretary of the TUC
Beth Farhat, regional secretary of the TUC

The number of people working long hours in the North East is up by ten per cent since 2010, according to latest figures from the Trades Union Congress.

About 112,000 employees in the region are now estimated to work more than 48 hours a week, up by 10,000 since 2010. The rise follows a decade of decline in working long hours.

Regularly working more than 48 hours per week is linked to increased risk of developing heart disease, stress, mental illness, strokes and diabetes, according to the TUC.

Many people are working unpaid overtime and want to cut their excessive hours, it adds.

Nationwide, those working long hours are still disproportionately men.

Men accounted for 2,544,000 of those reported to be working long hours last year and women for 873,000.

However, the number of women working 48-hour-plus weeks has increased by 18 per cent since 2010, three per cent higher than for men.

TUC regional secretary Beth Farhat said: “Britain’s long-hours culture is hitting productivity and putting workers’ health at risk.

“Working more than 48 hours a week massively increases the risk of strokes, heart disease and diabetes.

“We need stronger rules around excessive working, not an opt-out of the European Union working time directive.

“David Cameron will not convince people to vote yes in the EU referendum if all he’s offering is burnout Britain.”