New legislation is needed to protect workers from being taken advantage of, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said.
Overall, UK companies used £32.7bn worth of free labour from employees’ unpaid overtime in 2018.
This translates to more than 5m people working an average of 7.5 hours a week for no pay.
People with managerial hospitality roles work more unpaid hours than the national average, at 9.7 unpaid hours every week in 2018.
Calls for Government enforcement
Its analysis found that 40,000 managers in the hospitality and catering sectors work unpaid overtime, equating to 17.6% of the workforce.
The Government should target low-paid salary work for national minimum wage (NMW) enforcement of extra hours worked, the union said.
It also wants active enforcement of statutory paid annual leave, rest breaks and the right not to work more than 48 hours a week on average.
Enforcement can be ensured by introducing the dual-channel system of Government enforcement agency and employment tribunals, currently used for enforcing the NMW. Local authorities do not currently have the resources to enforce these rights, the trade union said.
O’Grady described this type of labour as a strain on millions of workers across the country.
She said: “It’s not OK for bosses to steal their workers’ time.
“Lots of us are willing to put in a few extra hours when it’s needed, but too many employers are taking advantage.
“Overworking staff hurts productivity, leaves workers stressed and exhausted, and eats into time that should be spent with family and friends.”
O’Grady added: “Bosses who steal people’s time should face consequences. So we’re calling for new rights to ensure that employers who break the rules on working time can be brought to employment tribunals.”
The trade union announced its findings on its 15th annual Work Your Proper Hours Day (1 March 2019), which it says is the date the average person on unpaid overtime has effectively worked for free.
Teaching and educational professionals had the longest average unpaid hours, of 12.1 unpaid hours per week, followed by chief executives, legal professionals and then hospitality managers.
The union used unpublished data from the Office for National Statistics.
It comes as trade bodies said there was a lack of clarity with how the national minimum wage should be enforced, making it difficult for pubs to know when they weren’t following the law.