Credit Crunch fears are forcing more employess to work over 48 hours a week. New research by the TUC (Trades Union Congress) reports that this figure has increased to 3.3 million workers this year, with the biggest increases were in construction, retail, the motor trade, finance and public administration.

This figure increased by 180,000 in the first three months of this year alone. This rise is being blamed on the current economic climate with employess working outside of their contracted hours as employers begin to recruit fewer new staff. The worst affected areas are the East of England and London.

General secretary of the TUC, Brendan Barber commented: “Employees across the UK already work the longest hours in Western Europe and the recent increase will mean lower productivity, more stress and less time to have a life outside the office with friends and family.” They have asked for the Government to back the Working Time Directive which contains proposals against excessive hours.