Britain’s long hour’s culture is a national disgrace

Over the last decade the complete lack of a ‘work life balance’ within the UK has been a growing concern, and a topic that is regularly debated. However, despite the awareness of this issue, the working hours over the last decade have actually increased rather than decreased.

Workers in the UK are currently working the longest hours in Europe, taking the shortest lunch breaks and have the fewest public holidays.

  • Britons work an average 48 hours per week
  • European average working week is 40.3 hours per week

These results lead to the TUC general secretary to state that “Britain’s long hour’s culture is a national disgrace”.

The working week is officially limited to 48 hours which is regulated by the ‘European Time Directive’, however with the technological developments giving easy internet access and the introduction of smart phones, workers in the UK are reporting a complete loss of privacy and family time.


In many European countries the technological advancements have helped to promote a more flexible working lifestyle, but in the UK it has had the opposite affect with workers now feeling under increasing pressure to opt out of the working time directive, 1 in 25 managerial staff members are working at least 60 hour weeks and many claiming the need to still take work home with them.

Long working hours are having a negative effect on motivation, turnover and absence levels within the workplace with the ‘Mental Health Foundation’ reporting 40% of mental health related absence is linked to work induced stress and anxiety, with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development stating the average cost of absence was £554 per employee in 2015.

Other countries produce more, earn more and work far shorter hours.

Companies and organisations across the UK are now being urged to find an acceptable ‘work life balance’ for their employees, to find ways for staff to work smart and be more productive while working fewer hours.

It is now an employer’s responsibility to provide for their employees needs sufficiently, and ensuring a sense of wellbeing and with this in mind ‘Employee Benefits’ are now becoming a key factor in the workplace and fast becoming a necessity for a company to retain their employees.

  • 24% of employees claimed that the introduction of employee benefits made them feel appreciated and helped to improve their view of their workplace.
  • UK Companies that have already implemented an Employee Benefits scheme saw an 84% dramatic rise in staff retention.

By introducing an employee benefits platform to your employees, you will greatly increase your staff retention rate as well as encouraging motivation within your workforce and in turn helping you to increase productivity.

If you are interested to find out what Benefits Orion offer. Visit our salaries and benefits page on the website.

This information was originally from Recruiting Times

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