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How Working Unpaid Hours Became Part of the Job

We work more hours than ever - without a break in sight

When Erik took his first job as a junior associate at an international law firm, he knew the normal rules of nine-to-five did not apply. Based in Hong Kong, his employer was as prestigious as it was notorious for running new recruits into the ground. Monstrous workloads and late nights were non-negotiable.

"It's simply a given in the legal industry," said Erik. "Generally, lawyers don't get paid overtime. Very occasionally, I'd have to pull an all-nighter."

Now working in Beijing, Erik has moved up the corporate ladder. Further into his career, there are fewer workdays that bleed into the following morning. A conventional working week, however, remains elusive. "Working towards 40 hours a week would be a light week for me," he said. "My hours depend on my clients' needs – I don't have the option of working fewer [hours]."

Please select this link to read the complete article from The BBC.

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