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NUJ encourages media workers to take their breaks today

24 February 2017

The NUJ is backing a campaign by the TUC to encourage workers to take their breaks. The union is encouraging all media workers to take a proper lunch break and leave on time today. 

To mark Work Your Proper Hours Day the TUC has today published an analysis of the official statistics showing UK workers gave their employers £33.6 billion of free labour last year by doing unpaid overtime.

Prior to today the average person doing unpaid overtime has effectively worked the year so far for free. The situation is worse for many workers, taking into account the gender pay gap and average lower wages for ethnic minority workers.

According to the TUC, more than 5.3 million people put in an average of 7.7 hours a week in unpaid overtime during 2016. This is equivalent to an average of £6,301 they have each missed out in their annual pay packets. The TUC has designed a calculator for workers to find out how much more they would get paid each year if their unpaid overtime was paid at their usual rate. 

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:

"Unpaid overtime and long-hours is a chronic problem in the media and creative industries. The NUJ is campaigning on this issue in many of our workplaces and we are pressing media employers to recognise the detrimental effects of unpaid overtime, which is often exacerbated by staff shortages and job cuts. By the very nature of their roles journalists tend to be flexible but that flexibility should not be abused or taken for granted by employers. Employers need to be mindful of the health implications of requiring staff to work excessive hours. Today is the opportunity for NUJ members to highlight the issues associated with excessive work."

Tags: , hours, working conditions, working practices, workers' rights, pay, work-life balance, work your proper hours