ARCHIV - 26.03.2015, Brandenburg, Potsdam: Der Zeiger einer Uhr steht auf 3 Uhr. Durchschnittlich 4,5 Millionen Menschen in Deutschland haben 2021 mehr gearbeitet als in ihrem Vertrag vereinbart. (zu dpa «4,5 Millionen Arbeitnehmer machen Überstunden») Foto: Ralf Hirschberger/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

Overtime is part of everyday work for many employees: Last year, 4.5 million employees – a share of twelve percent – worked more than contractually agreed, as the Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden announced on Wednesday.

Of those who worked overtime, 22 percent were not paid for it. The scientific director of the Economic and Social Sciences Institute of the Hans Böckler Foundation, Bettina Kohlrausch, called the numbers “disturbing”.

According to the statistics office, the number of overtime hours is limited to a few hours per week: for a third it was less than five hours, for almost 60 percent less than ten hours. However, more than a quarter (29 percent) worked at least 15 hours of overtime per week.

According to statistics, overtime is most widespread in finance and insurance companies – here the proportion of employees who work overtime was 19 percent. In energy supply it was 18 percent last year. At 14 percent, men work slightly more often than women, at ten percent, more than contractually agreed.

Kohlrausch said: “Against this background, it becomes clear once again how unnecessary and counterproductive discussions about increasing weekly working hours are.” Anyone who wants to retain skilled workers must take care of attractive working conditions – “in addition to working time arrangements that, for example, provide scope for better compatibility for work and let live”.

However, most employees (72 percent) use the overtime for a working time account, as the statisticians also reported – they secure more free time or vacation at other times with the overtime. 18 percent are paid for their overtime.

The data from the statistical office are based on the first results of the 2021 microcensus – this is the largest annual household survey in Germany. Around 810,000 people are surveyed. (AFP)