Study finds average worker does nine hours unpaid overtime each week

British bosses are saving millions of pounds every year because of the amount of unpaid overtime their staff put in, a new study has revealed.

In order to hit targets and cope with busy workloads, the average British worker turns in nine hours of unpaid overtime every week, according to a survey of 2,000 adults by hotel chain Travelodge.

Workers in London turn in the most unpaid hours, 11 each week, while those in Belfast tend to work seven extra hours without pay.

The average employee does nine hours of unpaid work each week, which would be worth thousands of pounds extra for them each year if they were paid.

A third of workers regularly put in extra hours over the weekend, while two in five admit to regularly working from home.

The study also found that more than a third of workers are putting holidays abroad on hold due to job insecurity and heavy workloads, opting instead for short 'staycations'.

Commenting on the findings of the survey, Trades Union Congress general secretary Brendan Barber said: "Millions of workers give the economy a multibillion-pound boost with the extra unpaid hours they put in at work."

He added: "Bosses should thank staff for going that extra mile, but they must never be complacent about excessively long hours.

"Burning people out undermines productivity, increases the likelihood of sickness absence and shows a lack of commitment to staff well-being that will not go unnoticed."

The findings by Travelodge come on the back of mixed job news for the UK.

The news that the amount of people placed in permanent jobs has fallen for a second month could explain the motivation for people in employment to work extra hard to stay that way.

KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation research said there is still a "high degree of uncertainty" among employers and suggested bosses may be putting off recruitment decisions until the end of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

A survey of recruitment agencies said the availability of staff increased during July, while other figures show a reduction in permanent and short-term staff appointments.

Copyright Press Association 2012