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Automotive sector professionals work longer but struggle to budget financially, survey finds

Automotive professionals work more hours than they’re contracted to yet more than half (52.4%) struggle to make ends meet at the end of each month, says CV-Library research.

The study surveyed 1,200 working professionals and found that over a quarter (27.3%) work four to six hours extra per week, amounting to 240 hours per year and meaning automotive professionals are missing out on £3,979.20* unpaid overtime, at CV-Library's calculations.  

However, CV-Library recently reported that wages were up 7.5% in the last year, meaning job hunters in the automotive industry could pocket a potential extra £2,409 if they find a new job.

Its founder and chief executive Lee Biggins said: “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 automotive industry is suffering a productivity crisis, especially with Brexit headwinds, which is exacerbated by professionals being overworked and unmotivated.  

“Of course, we all have stressful days which cause us to work longer than we’re contracted to. But 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.”  

The majority (83.3%) of the industry’s professionals believe they’re underpaid, with the survey revealing that: 

  • 61.1% of automotive professionals go into their overdraft before the end of the month 
  • 25.8% struggle to pay off their credit card each month 
  • 54.8% think that colleagues at a similar level earn more than them 
  • Aside from living costs, the top three expenditures of automotive professionals are groceries (40.5%), insurance (28.6%) and eating out (28.1%). 

Biggins said: “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 eating out with friends, rather than worrying about how to pay the bills at the end of the month.”  

*CV-Library calculates the average salary for the automotive industry currently as being £34,490 per annum, equating to an hourly rate of £16.58 



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