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Two-fifths of public sector workers say pay fails to cover cost of living

A survey has revealed widespread stress, overwork and concern about pay among public sector workers.

The poll of 1,274 public sector professionals indicated that 41% say their salary doesn’t cover the cost of living plus leisure activities.

A separate clutch of private sector workers were also surveyed, but the public sector workers were significantly more likely to say they can’t forget about work and relax when they get home (31% vs 20% of private sector staff).

More than a quarter (28%) of public sector workers said they were unable to spend quality time with family during the week, compared to a fifth of those in the private sector, while 27% in the public sector and 20% in the private sector reported a poor work-life balance.

The survey, conducted by YouGov, was commissioned by CSMA Club, a mutual club for civil servants and public sector workers that has more than 280,000 members, who enjoy discounts, leisure activities and preferential deals. PSE recently interviewed CSMA Club’s chief executive Carl Fillery, who said in reaction to this latest survey: “The advent of certain types of technology has had a dramatic effect on the way we work, but one of the more worrying effects is the impact it has on people’s leisure time, especially if people feel the need to constantly check emails on company mobiles or be available to respond to phone calls if needed, meaning they can never fully switch off.

“If these types of communication are required for business, then its important employers help their staff find other ways to make the most of their leisure time. Many of the respondents said they still valued additional benefits, such as health insurance and leisure offers, and these will be key in boosting staff motivation, productivity and, ultimately, loyalty.”


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