East Midlands workers put in £1.3 billion worth of unpaid overtime during the pandemic
New figures show that key workers alone, who are keeping the region running in the pandemic, put in £400million of extra work for free in 2020.
In the East Midlands, 11.5 per cent of employees did unpaid overtime, putting in an average of 6.7 hours per week.
That’s equivalent to £5,550 a year of wages going unpaid for work done.
The research, conducted by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), showed that teachers are high on the list of those working overtime.
The challenges of keeping schools open for the children of key workers, while providing home learning too, has kept up their work intensity.
Managers and directors also featured strongly, suggesting that the additional responsibilities of senior staff are not properly managed by employers.
TUC Midlands regional secretary Lee Barron said: “Over the last year, many workers in the East Midlands have put in huge amounts of unpaid overtime to keep the country going.
"And they have kept businesses and public services afloat.
“We should thank the key workers who put in extra hours without any extra pay.”
The TUC is now calling on the Government to cancel the pay freeze affecting 2.7million public sector key workers.
The union body said that key workers have earned a decent pay rise for putting in long and tough hours to keep the country going during the pandemic.
It is also calling on the Government to quickly bring forward the long-promised employment bill and strengthen protections against overwork and burnout.
Mr Barron added: "At the budget, the chancellor should cancel the pay freeze and give every key worker a decent pay rise.
" It is what they have earned.
“And he should unlock the public sector job vacancies and gaps that currently exist.
"That’s an easy way to cut unemployment, reduce burnout among key workers and get our public services back on their feet.”