Workplace pressure caused by the recession is leading to IT professionals working more than a month of unpaid overtime every year.
The TUC says one-third of IT workers are doing an average of 34 days of unpaid overtime in a 12-month period. The figure is an increase on August 2008, when workers were doing 33.8 days of unpaid overtime a year.
It means IT staff are working around five hours and 48 minutes a week for free. Today is the TUC's Work Your Proper Hours Day, which marks the point in the year at which the average person who does free overtime would start earning their salary if all their unpaid overtime were done at the start of the year.
The TUC has in the past made a call for employees to work their proper hours for one day today, to remind bosses of the effort they put in.
But it said, "At a time when many employees are putting in extra unpaid hours to help their employers through the recession, and save their jobs, the TUC is instead applauding the spirit and dedication of the workers who are helping to keep their businesses afloat."
It warned care is needed to protect employees against stress and burnout.
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said, "The recession is bringing new pressure for people to work unpaid overtime, and even more IT professionals are doing unpaid overtime than last year.
"But not all unpaid overtime is useful work helping to overcome the recession. When people understandably fear for their jobs, employers still have a responsibility to organise work properly and ensure their workplaces do not get gripped by a long hours culture."