More than half of the overtime is unpaid

In 2020, employees in Germany accumulated almost 1.7 billion hours of overtime, and 892 million were not paid. The Left Party is calling for countermeasures to be taken in two places.

Beyond nine-to-five: Little has changed in terms of overtime as a percentage of the workload.

TIn spite of the pandemic, employees in Germany worked 1.67 billion hours of overtime last year. This emerges from a response from the Federal Government to a request from the left in the Bundestag, available to the German Press Agency.

It is true that the number of overtime hours has fallen compared to the previous year, as can be seen from the data from the Institute for Employment Research. At that time it had totaled 1.86 billion. But little has changed in terms of overtime as a percentage of the workload. It was 3.2 percent. That was only 0.3 percentage points less than in the previous year.

More than half of the overtime – 892 million – was unpaid. While paid overtime decreased by 15.4 percent compared to the previous year, unpaid overtime only fell by 5.8 percent. According to the figures, the share of overtime in the work volume is 3.6 percent higher for part-time employees than 3.1 percent for full-time employees.

“Overtime for free”

Left-wing MP Jessica Tatti, who had requested the figures, told the dpa: “The employees simply have more work on the table than they can manage in the contractual working hours.” Year after year, employees worked overtime for free. “It pays off for employers. You save tens of billions in wage costs every year.”

Tatti called on the federal government to make the recording requirement mandatory. “It cannot be that some work until they drop, while others are stuck involuntarily part-time or cannot find work.” The reduction in the maximum weekly working hours is therefore also indicated.