More employees worked unpaid overtime during the coronavirus pandemic

More employees worked unpaid overtime during the coronavirus pandemic

A recent survey has revealed that, in the Netherlands, almost two-thirds of workers worked unpaid overtime every week during the coronavirus pandemic, with some racking up as much as 10 unpaid hours in a week. 

Working overtime during the coronavirus pandemic

As most people were asked to work from home as much as possible as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Netherlands, many workers complained that the new working from home lifestyle made it difficult for them to establish a healthy work-life balance. Without the structure of a day in the office, employees found themselves working longer hours and checking up on work outside of office hours. 

A recent survey has uncovered the extent to which this happened in the Netherlands. Payroll service provider ADP researched the way more than 32.000 employees across 17 countries worked throughout the pandemic, and found that thousands clocked more overtime hours than ever before. 

In 2018, one-fifth of workers in the Netherlands reported working overtime - this rose to a quarter in the coronavirus crisis. Almost two-thirds of employees admitted to working unpaid overtime every week, with a quarter reporting between six and 10 hours of unpaid overtime a week.

Loss of work-life balance and job security

While ADP acknowledges the impact of working from home on the overtime employees clock in a week, director Martijn Brand also noted that many felt pressure to work extra hours to hold on to their jobs in these uncertain times. 

Internationally, more than a third of workers said they worked overtime out of fear of losing their job. “Employees hope in this way to show that they are of extra added value for the employer,” Brand says. “In the long run, this can create a worrying situation in which too much is required of employees, with the risk of staff being overworked and reduced labour productivity."

ADP’s survey also found that younger workers were more likely to work more overtime, specifically those aged between 18 and 34. The most overtime was recorded in key sectors such as healthcare, IT, and telecommunications.

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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