TIME-POOR jobseekers are risking their current roles by searching for new jobs at work, according to a recent poll.

The survey of over 2,000 jobseekers, all currently employed, found that over a quarter (28%) spend more than three hours per week looking for jobs at work, 16% more than five hours and 7% more than ten hours.

If this was consistent across all UK jobseekers, it would amount to a weekly total of over 14 million hours, costing employers more than £250 million every week, says the recruitment website which carried out the research.

While 60% of respondents say they do search online for jobs at work, 50% say they also update they CV, 49% apply for roles and almost a quarter (23%) shamelessly carry out telephone interviews from the office.

But it appears all this job hunting hasn’t gone unnoticed with 40% of respondents saying they think their boss knows they are looking and 12% saying they have actually been caught by their boss or another colleague.

One in fifty of those questioned has actually lost their job this way.

Over a third (39%) of respondents have attended job interviews during working hours, with a medical appointment being the most popular excuse for absence (23%), closely followed by a home delivery (22%) and a pet emergency (14%).

Worryingly, 6% of respondents fabricate the death of a relative to explain their absence, more than would fake sickness (one per cent) or a domestic emergency (five per cent).

Male respondents are the biggest culprits when it comes to job hunting at work, with 30% spending more than three hours per week looking for a job, compared to 25% of women surveyed.

Regionally, those surveyed in Anglia spend the most time job hunting at work, followed by London and then the South East.

Age-wise, youngsters are the biggest culprits with 21% of 18 to 30 year old respondents spending more than five working hours looking for a job. Surprisingly those in the 51 to 60 age bracket are also serious offenders, with only slightly fewer (2%) doing the same.