Self preservation is the key factor behind the recent rise in unpaid overtime that the Trade Unions Congress (TUC) uncovered.
According to the TUC, a record 5.26 million people worked unpaid overtime last year – the highest figure since records began in 1992.
Commenting on the figure, Michael Scutt, partner at employment law firm Dale Langley & Co, said that the uncertain economic climate and widespread job losses made workers knuckle down in the past year.
“Many employees probably don’t want to draw attention to themselves by insisting on ‘their rights’ if it might lead to them being selected for redundancy later on,” Mr Scutt said.
He added: “This, of course, flies in the face of the ongoing debate about it being hard for employers to run their businesses because employees are too keen to assert their legal rights.”
The TUC said that public sector office space employees were more likely to do unpaid overtime than their private sector counterparts.