News story

Number of unpaid hours worked dropped significantly in 2016

Stoke Prior, United KingdomLearning NewsBlue Eskimo

According to Blue Eskimo's 2016 work and salary survey, the number of people in the learning sector who worked unpaid hours dropped by around twenty percentage points last year.

Blue Eskimo's work and salary survey
Blue Eskimo's work and salary survey 

Blue Eskimo, specialist L&D recruitment company, has just released the results of its ninth annual work and salary survey. The survey shows a marked reduction in the number of unpaid hours worked in 2016.

“Almost everyone works some unpaid hours,” says Blue Eskimo director Nick Bate, “regardless of role and sector. But in a world that’s placing greater emphasis on work-life balance, it’s clearly undesirable for people to give away too much of their time for free.”

The survey shows that the number of people working unpaid hours dropped from 83.25% in 2015 to 62.14% in 2016. “That’s a very sizable shift,” says Bate, “and a welcome one. As with many sectors, learning and development professionals have given it their all during the economic downturn. As the economy has improved, it’s good to see workers getting more of a balance back.”

Bate says that the reduction of unpaid hours worked corresponded to improvements in pay and benefits. “More people got a rise this year,” says Bate, “benefits generally improved and a greater number think that their pay is about right. It’s not unreasonable to conclude that, after a fairly tight few years, companies are doing better, employees are better rewarded – and so they’re able to balance work with life outside work far better.”

Blue Eskimo’s survey has been running for almost a decade, and provides the most comprehensive information available on work and pay within the learning sector. “For the first time this year,” says Bate, “we’ve included a greater amount of comparative data, so that people can see key trends over the last nine years. We have also shown comparisons with last year’s data, but now people can see some of the most important results across the life of the survey.”

The full survey contains detailed answers to many more questions and can be downloaded free, from Blue Eskimo’s website (