Research reveals that 3 million workers exaggerate their hours

HR News reports on recent research which reveals that many staff exaggerate the hours they work, resulting in increased pay bills for employers. As we approach the busy Christmas season, Britain’s businesses, particularly in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors are urged to put in place fairer shift patterns to avoid the costs associated with unhappy staff quitting or clocking ‘phantom hours’.

The research shows that millions of workers in these sectors feel that they are overworked and forced to work unsympathetic shift patterns. Over half (51%) of Britain’s 8.3 million retail, leisure or hospitality workers complain of being forced to work through their break and a quarter (25%) say they have considered leaving due to unfair allocation of shifts.  As well as having a negative effect on morale and, potentially, productivity, it appears that this sense of injustice leads many to exaggerate their working hours by up to an hour each week. Over a third (37%) of workers admit to doing so, which equates to more than 3 million people regularly clocking costly ‘phantom hours’.

At a time of high employment, when many businesses in these sectors are finding it a struggle to fill vacancies, this research highlights the importance of ensuring that staff are treated fairly to reduce costs and staff churn.   The research suggests that fairer rota patterns can also reduce sickness, with 48% of respondents saying that making shift patterns fairer would reduce their sick days and 38% saying that sharing rotas in better time would have the same effect.

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