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Staff unrest may cripple UK's finance sector

Half of people working in the UK's finance sector are looking to change jobs, according to new research released today by recruitment company Robert Half. The research indicates finance staff can no longer cope with increased workloads, longer working hours and stress as employers fail to address the issue of understaffing. The nationwide survey of over 2,000 finance professionals found that 51% of respondents are looking for a new job.

Of those actively looking to move, 54% think their organisation is understaffed – 18% higher than those not looking to move. And when the same respondents were asked how understaffing had affected them, 58% said workloads had increased and 40% were suffering from an increase in stress.

Unsurprisingly, with less staff and increased workloads, finance professionals are working longer than average hours. The average working week in the UK is 37.5 hours, but almost a quarter (24%) of those surveyed worked an average of 50 hours a week. Even more disturbing is that 43% feel guilty about not putting in enough hours, an increase of 16% on last year.

The survey also uncovered less obvious effects of a long hours culture. When questioned on the benefits they would most like to receive, flexible hours came above extra holiday (14% versus 9% respectively).

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