Employment statistics consistently show that having a foreign background has an influence on people’s employment prospects. Less is known about the types of jobs workers with foreign backgrounds hold and their working conditions. This policy brief contributes to filling this gap.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) met for the first time 100 years ago, and right at the top of the agenda for discussion for this new specialised UN agency was the 8-hour working day. This discussion subsequently resulted in the Hours of Work (Industry) Convention, which stated that ‘The working hours of persons employed in any public or private industrial undertaking or in any branch there of (…) shall not exceed eight in the day and forty-eight in the week.’ A century later and, despite radical technological change in almost every aspect of our lives, the 8-hour workday still largely defines working life throughout Europe.
This biennial review charts developments in a range of working time issues in the EU and Norway in 2017–2018. It finds that while the average collectively agreed working week across the EU remains unchanged since 2016 – at 38 hours – there was a slight decrease in the past two years in the 15 Member States that joined the EU before 2004 (the EU15).