Industrial relations

Working time in 2017–2018

03 October 2019


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). The banking sector continues to have the shortest average agreed normal working week, and the retail sector the longest. In 2018, collectively agreed paid annual leave entitlement stood at an average of 23.8 days across the EU – slightly higher in the EU15 and considerably lower in the rest of the EU. From an annual perspective, according to collectively agreed, normal annual working hours, full-time workers in the EU28 worked, on average, 1,714 hours in 2018: 1,687 hours in the EU15 and 1,803 hours in the other Member States.

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