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Unpaid overtime still common for IT pros

A culture of long hours still exists in IT, but the situation has improved over the past five years
Written by Tim Ferguson, Contributor

Nearly half of IT professionals work more than their contracted hours, though the amount of unpaid overtime they're working has fallen over the past five years.

In 2006, 44.8 per cent of ICT workers and 30.6 per cent of IT service delivery employees worked unpaid overtime.

According to Trades Union Congress (TUC) research, ICT workers work an extra six hours and six minutes per week, while IT service delivery staff work an average of four hours and 36 minutes additionally per week.

But the two groups were ranked 23rd and 31st, respectively, out of all professions — and the amount of overtime worked by both has fallen by more than an hour since 2001.

Like last year, teaching professionals lead do the most unpaid overtime, with an average of 11 hours and six minutes extra work per week.

In general, unpaid overtime is on the decline but the TUC says progress is "glacial". It estimates that some workers will still be working an extra 10 hours or more per week until 2030. Currently, nearly 840,000 professionals work more than 10 unpaid hours per week.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said although most staff are happy to put in extra time when there's an emergency or extra pressure, this should not be taken for granted week in, week out.

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