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Survey: Every 5th worker doing unpaid overtime in Estonia

TALLINN – Every fifth employee in Estonia works overtime without getting paid for it, and nearly half of employees put in both paid and unpaid extra hours, it appears from a survey conducted by recruitment portal CVKeskus.ee.

"A recent survey, which included over 4,000 employees, indicates that overtime is a widespread part of the job for nearly a half, or 45 percent of Estonian workers," Henry Auvaart, chief of communications at CV Keskus Baltics, said. 

In in five workers, or 21 percent are not receiving additional remuneration for their overtime, and merely 24 percent of employees are compensated for their extra hours, whereas last year the figure was 26 percent.

Auvaart added that overtime is most common with executives – over half, or 56 percent, said that they have been working overtime often in recent times.

"Sadly, Estonian executives' overtime comes at the expense of employee satisfaction -- a recent survey showed that up to two thirds of respondents are unhappy with the quality of leadership," Auvaart said. "It seems executives are so overburdened with micromanaging that they cannot spare the time to look after their employees. 

Overtime is more widespread than average in construction, transport, logistics and IT. The least overtime was done in assistance and finance.

"As much as 31 percent of young employees are paid for their overtime, which may be the result of the nature of the work. Many young people commence accumulating work experience in positions that are remunerated on an hourly basis, thus it is easier to calculate overtime," Auvaart noted. "Overtime is widespread in nearly all age groups; however, it occurs the least among workers aged 36-45, of whom 40 percent said that they have worked overtime." 

Paid overtime is most widespread in the industrial sector, transport, logistics, IT and customer service.

Data for 2017 by OECD, too, confirms the industriousness of the people of Estonia compared to its neighboring countries.

"In 2017, Estonians put in 229 more working hours than Finns, for instance. Furthermore, this indicator has grown by nine hours, or over one working day," Auvaart added. "Also, Estonia is the only one among its neighboring countries where the yearly number of working hours shows an upward trend."

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