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UK—Mind the Gap—Employee Perspectives

by Matthew Flynn

April 2010—UK workers have among the longest working hours in Europe, and among all UK employees, those at middle-age have the longest—33.71 hours/week. Nearly one quarter (23%) of UK employees feel disengaged from their workplaces. Further, almost 4 in 10 UK workers disagreed that they are paid well for the job they do, with younger people being more dissatisfied than middle-age or older workers.

Additional contrasts exist between what younger and older employees want from their jobs.

  • Younger workers tend to rank “a good income” their highest priority (37.5%) when looking for a new job, as compared to older workers (29.1%).
  • When looking for a job, younger people first consider the position’s pay (37.5%) and, second, whether they would be “doing an important job.” Older people consider “doing an important job” more important than having a good income (36.9% v. 29.1%).
  • Among those who feel they might lose their job within 6 months, younger workers were the most concerned—a full 17.9%, compared to 12.9% of older workers.
  • Younger people are most likely to be subject to threats of violence or bullying—6.7%, compared with 4.8% of older workers.
  • Older workers are more likely to feel “at home” in their workplaces (32.3%) in comparison to younger workers (21.3%).

Older workers are also most likely to be working part-time in the UK (32.4%) compared to younger workers (26.9%), though most older part-time workers (87.5%) are working part-time hours out of choice.

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