Many employers are reducing overtimeThe recession has forced increasing numbers of UK employers and HR managers to reassess the idea of overtime, it has been claimed, but this may be less as a result of cost control than demand issues.

Duncan Brown, director of reward services at the Institute for Employment Studies, said the main thinking behind this is that the in many cases the economic turbulence means that workloads have fallen.

This means that some employers have now taken to short-term working or pay freezes in order to retain jobs and reduce the need for redundancies.

The issue of overtime culture is also being reassessed, Mr Brown added.

“If people could do that amount of work and add that much value in normal hours, wouldn’t that be better than them working all hours of the day and night […] and having to pay them a premium for it? It just doesn’t seem to fit with a lot of businesses today,” he stated.

Mr Brown advised giving workers the motivation to complete the workload inside normal hours, rather than giving them an incentive to take longer to do it.

His comments come as research by the Trades Union Congress revealed that the number of people working paid overtime in the UK has fallen by nearly half a million over the last year.