BRITISH workers are undertaking up to 45m hours of unpaid work a week – by foregoing their lunch hour.

A survey by recruitment website showed that one in four people regularly took a working lunch due to a heavy workload and fears about job security.

More than a quarter do not step out of the office all day and 14% rarely have time to eat a proper lunch.

The poll of 1,410 workers also found that 36% have noticed a dramatic increase in workload since the start of the year.

Almost half of them say this is a direct result of the re cession – as managers take on more work but do not recruit more staff.

The survey said 42% of British workers were now doing three-and-a-half hours – or half a day – of unpaid work every week.

That equated to more than 45m of unpaid work every week based on the number of people in work in the UK. founder Lisette Howlett said: “These turbulent times have resulted in a lot of nervous workers – and even though there is talk that business is on the up, worried Brits are continuing to feel the need to work unpaid and often unappreciated hours.”