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Number of employees commuting for more than two hours increases by a third

Date: 22 November 2016   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

The Trades Union Congress has called on employers to promote more home and flexi-working options after it was revealed the number of employees who commute for more than two hours has increased by a third in the last five years.

According to previously unpublished figures from the Office for National Statistics' Labour Force Survey, 3.7 million staff had daily commutes of more than two hours in 2015, an increase of 900,000 compared with 2010's figures.

The workers' rights body also claimed that employees spent 10 hours extra on average commuting in 2015 than they did in 2010, equating to an extra 2.7 minutes per day, and called on ministers to invest more in roads and public transport in order to ease the pain of traffic delays.

Those working in the finance and insurance sector are most likely to commute for more than two hours (29.3%), followed by miners (28.9%) and information and communications staff (25.9%).

According to the analysis, the number of women who commute for two hours or more a day has increased by 35% since 2010, which has been put down to a growth in long commutes in sectors including education (up by 46%) and health and social care (up by 36%), where - the TUC said  - a high number of women work.

"None of us like spending ages getting to and from work. Long commutes eat into our family time and can be bad for our working lives too," said TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady. "Employers cannot turn a blind eye to this problem. More home and flexible-working would allow people to cut their commutes and save money."