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28th January 2021


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£4.8 billion of unpaid work completed by British tradespeople every year

According to new research from Direct Line for Business (DL4B), seven in 10 British tradespeople work extra unpaid hours each week, which equates to around £4.8 billion in unpaid overtime every year.

Just one in four (26%) of workers claim they don't work any unpaid overtime in a typical week. On average, each tradesperson completes 5.29 hours of unpaid work a week, totalling 275 hours a year and equivalent to around £1,702 in wages (based on the minimum wage).

Indeed the research also showed that more than one in 10 (11%) of the UK's 2.8 million tradesperson-strong workforce, or 308,000 people, claim to complete over 10 hours of unpaid work each week (or 520 hours a year).

Tradespeople who have been in the job the longest are more likely to work an extended, unpaid week. On average, tradespeople who have worked for up to 10 years complete an average of 34.0 hours per week, while those who have been in the industry for more than a decade typically work 41.8 hours per week.

Tradespeople in the UK work on average 40 hours a week with nearly half (48%) completing over 40 hours a week. The current average for the UK's overall workforce is 37 hours a week.

"Tradespeople are the unsung heroes leading the way in nursing our economy back to health," says Jazz Gakhal, Head of Direct Line for Business. "The research shows that, despite the sometimes negative publicity that surrounds the work ethic of tradespeople, they are doing more than their fair share and setting the right example for the rest of the UK's workforce. Next time a builder or plumber takes a tea break, be conscious that you are probably getting free hours spent working on your home improvements or repairs.

"Given these extra accumulated working hours, it is crucial that tradespeople have the right insurance cover for their business to ensure that all these extra hours worked are adequately compensated in the event of an accident."

The DL4B public liability insurance cover protects against an employee having an accident that causes injury or damage, or someone makes a claim against the holder for compensation, he/she can protect their livelihood and keep their business on track. The policy also gives the flexibility to extend cover limits and take out optional extras such as tool, own plant and employer's liability cover.


23rd November 2012

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