Cash-strapped retail professionals work longer hours but struggle to make ends meet

Brand new research from CV-Library, the UK independent job board, reveals that despite 63.9% of retail professionals working more hours than they’re contracted to, over two-thirds (67.6%) struggle to make ends meet at the end of each month.  

The study surveyed 1,200 working professionals and found that over a third (37.7%) work 1-3 hours extra per week, amounting to 96 hours per year and meaning retail professionals are missing out on £1,359.36* unpaid overtime.  

Lee Biggins, founder and CEO of CV-Library, comments on the findings: “We’ve certainly built a reputation for ourselves in the UK for working overtime, with full-time employees working two and half weeks more than the EU average. However, the retail industry is suffering a productivity crisis, with retailers like Debenhams and Arcadia shrinking their stores and making cuts to their staff. This has led to retail professionals being overworked and unmotivated. 

“Of course, we all have stressful days which cause us to work longer than we’re contracted to. This is especially true of the retail industry, where employees are often required to work anti-social hours to prepare for sales and seasonal demand. However, if you’re continuing to go the extra mile, without your efforts being recognised, then something’s gone wrong. It’s unfair for managers to expect you to give up your valuable time without financial recognition. Know your worth and don’t settle for any less!”  

Although professionals in the retail industry may be putting in extra hours in the hopes of impressing their boss and securing a pay rise, it appears that employers are failing to pick up on their efforts. Nearly three-quarters (71.4%) of the industry’s professionals believe they’re underpaid, with the survey revealing that:

  • 73.9% of retail professionals go into their overdraft before the end of the month 
  • 3.5% struggle to pay off their credit card each month
  • 43.9% think that colleagues at a similar level earn more than them
  • Aside from living costs, the top three expenditures of retail professionals are groceries (52.1%), eating out (34.1%) and entertainment (24.4%)

Biggins concludes: “It’s highly demotivating to feel like you’re putting in extra hours, without reaping the rewards. So, if you think you deserve it, don’t be afraid to ask for a pay review. It will do wonders for your motivation and productivity to have your boss acknowledge your hard work. Plus, we deserve to enjoy our hard-earned money by socialising and doing things we enjoy, rather than worrying about how to pay the bills at the end of the month.”  

*The average salary in the retail industry currently sits at £29,462 per annum, equating to an hourly rate of £14.16

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