'Public Service Ethos' Generates Hours of Unpaid Work

By Shifrin, Tash | Public Finance, May 30, 2008 | Go to article overview

'Public Service Ethos' Generates Hours of Unpaid Work


Shifrin, Tash, Public Finance


Public sector staff are putting in 120 million hours of unpaid overtime a year - the equivalent of 60,000 extra workers, Bristol University academics have found.

Research examining the 'public service ethos' found that teachers, NHS staff and workers in social care were more likely to do unpaid overtime than private sector staff - a by-product of the public sector ethos.

'After including a robust set of controls, we find that people working in welfare services in the non-profit sector are 12 percentage points more likely to do unpaid overtime than those in the private sector,' says the report published in Research in public policy.

Those who worked extra hours without pay in the public sector also did more unpaid hours than those in the private sector - an average nine hours, 35 minutes compared with eight hours, 20 minutes. 'This tells us that the public service ethos is more than just a notional idea - it shows up in real differences in behaviour between people working in the non-profit and for-profit sectors,' says the report. …

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