60 per cent of people would work without pay for a short time to save their workmates’ jobs, a survey by Adecco General Staffing has revealed.

Those over-55 were most likely to agree while 18-34s were least likely. Men, the poll found, were five per cent more likely to say they would work without pay than women. Just one in five workers refused to consider a few days’ free work.

Steven Kirkpatrick, managing director of Adecco General Staffing, said: “The survey shows chivalry in the workplace is alive and well. It also tells us how realistic people are being about the pressures their employers are under to reduce costs and survive.

“However, clever employers shouldn’t take this for granted. As the jobs market starts to show signs of recovery, too many unrealistic demands on employees may cause them to look elsewhere.”