David Cameron’s push for Brexit could end up creating “burnout Britain”

At the end of 2015 it was suggested that the number of Brits working excessive hours had risen by 15 per cent since 2010 – which TUC claimed was affecting the health of staff.

After research involving more than 3.4m employees, it found that those regularly working over 48 hours each week were at risk of developing heart disease, stress, mental illness, strokes, and diabetes. More importantly, however, it said workers weren’t being paid for their efforts.

TUC maintained that many were working unpaid overtime and at that least 1m had called for excessive hours to be cut. It further said the government should reassess its negative view of the EU Working Time Directive, which has been brought into UK law and stipulates a 48 hour working week.

Its general secretary, Frances O’Grady, said: “We need stronger rules around excessive working – not an opt-out of the Working Time Directive. David Cameron will not convince people to vote yes in the EU referendum if all he’s offering is ‘Burnout Britain’.”

Find out about more ways stress is affecting how you work:

This was further highlighted in a recent report by CV-Library, which found that Britain’s professionals are working more than five weeks for free every year – meaning the average annual salary in the UK is over £3,000 too low.

The findings revealed that the average UK professional contracted to work 7.5 hours per day is actually working eight hours and 16 minutes daily, and that employees are working 26.5 days more than their contracted hours every year without being paid overtime. This, combined with the average UK salary of £32,938 per year, suggested that workers are being short-changed a staggering £3,352 every single year.

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library said: “In the first quarter of 2016 we have seen wages rise year-on-year, but when compared with the previous quarter salaries actually declined by 0.9 per cent – and with the introduction of the national living wage and concerns around the EU referendum, we expect wages to decline even further into Q2 2016. With many UK businesses facing low productivity as the nation struggles with skills shortages and economic uncertainty, it’s extremely concerning to see that full-time workers are forced to pick up the slack with no reward.

“The government needs to work with businesses to tackle the issues head-on; especially for regions like Scotland where workers are facing worryingly long work days. There are so many questions still unanswered regarding the EU referendum, and for UK workers many of these questions are surrounding the current EU employment laws. It’s clear that professionals in Britain are already working close to, if not more than, they legally should on a full-time contact, and a Brexit could worsen the situation – if we leave the EU and the security blanket of a maximum 48 hour week is removed then UK workers could face even longer working days. ”

Being stressed at work is often inevitable, and while it may not be a particularly comfortable situation in which to work, short-term projects can thrive from stress. Here are five ways to avoid the work burnout.

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