Despite the pandemic, employees in Germany worked 1.67 billion hours overtime last year. This is the result of a response from the federal government to a question from the Left Party in the Bundestag, which was made available to the Deutsche Presse-Agentur. The number of overtime hours has decreased compared to the previous year, according to data from the Institute for Employment Research. At that time, the total was 1.86 billion hours.
However, there has been little change in the share of overtime in the volume of work. It amounted to 3.2 percent. This was only 0.3 percentage points less than in the previous year.
Many unpaid overtime hours
More than half of overtime – 892 million – was unpaid. While paid overtime decreased by 15.4 percent compared to the previous year, unpaid overtime decreased by only 5.8 percent. According to the figures, part-time employees work more overtime (3.6 percent) than full-time employees (3.1 percent).
Jessica Tatti, a member of the Left Party who requested the figures, told dpa: "Employees simply have more work on the table than they can manage in contractual working hours." Year after year, employees work overtime at zero cost. "This pays off for employers. They save tens of billions of euros in wage costs every year."
Tatti called on the federal government to make the recording obligation mandatory. "It can’t be that some people work until they drop, while others are stuck in involuntary part-time jobs or can’t find work." The reduction of the weekly peak working hours is therefore also indicated.